American Modern Novel
April 27th, 2015
Is this book worth the read? Sometimes it is hard to remember that Ray Bradbury tackles the art of short story in a very unusual way. His collections of short stories are often tied together by shared sub-themes or settings, although each story could stand on it’s own. Such is the case here, though the running theme to the Illustrated Man collection is mostly a concept. Apparently the stories are told by a man’s tattoos, but do not worry about that too much. The true theme holding this group of stories together is inspections of human nature and mankind’s place in the universe. Bradbury’s classic examinations of the gloomy and downhearted side of humanity are…show more content… He is known as the Illustrated Man who is looking for a job. The main character went to be tattooed across his entire body as a way to continue to work at a circus, showing off to people who come to view the art he exhibited. His tattoos, he told him, where given to him by a witch from our future that he wishes to find and kill. When the sun goes down, the tattoos come to life, and play out little dramas upon the man flesh. The man decides to watch as the Illustrated Man sleeps, and what he sees are the stories that are portrayed in this novel. Each of the stories covered in this book comes from the drama performed out by the man’s tattoos. The tattoos plays out different eighteen stories, but with all of the stories being told, the man finds one last tattoo forming: it showed the Illustrated Man strangling him to death. By and well-built, the stories are independent to each other, which means we can go from a strange future where one family’s house takes care of all their materials to a poor farmer who manages to avoid the end of the by being in one of his own. Still, there are few themes that run throughout the book that are fascinating to look at.
The stories in this collection are unusual but a few common themes arise. One of these themes is the way we relate to technology. It is pretty obvious in the first tale of the book, “The Veldt.” In this story, we meet a family who are completely reliant on on their house. It is a technological phenomenon,