The Rocket Man Literary Devices

1485 WordsOct 24, 20176 Pages
In the short story, The Rocket Man, an adaptation of, The Illustrated Man, the author Ray Bradbury describes the life of an astronaut who is torn between living an ordinary life with his family and traveling through space on a rocketship. The story, written in 1951, is based around how the father’s space travel affects his son, Doug, and the father’s relationship with his wife. The Rocket Man, was written during the modern period of literature, a time when science fiction and new technology was up and coming. During the 1950’s, the United States was at the beginning of its space program, and space travel was quickly becoming a reality. The Rocket Man was influenced by its time period, and the story describes a futuristic place where…show more content…
‘Sleep good Doug?’ he said, as if he has been here all the time, and hadn’t been gone for three months” (2). The author writing through Doug in the first person allows him to give more detail and clarity to the situation as well as highlight how Doug views his father as a man who leaves his family for a long period of time, yet returns as if he never left. Doug’s view of his father after his return sheds light on the recurring notion of a poorly functioning family, a key theme within the reading. Furthermore, the author inserts dialogue within Doug’s story of events to add more credibility to Doug’s version of events. Dialogue is added when Doug speaks with his father while on vacation, “Doug …. I want you to promise me something. ‘What?’ Don’t ever be a Rocket Man. …. I mean it” (7). Doug’s conversation with his father is an example of how Bradbury tells the story through Doug, just another way the author is able to exemplify the father’s unhappiness and dysfunctional family while keeping a consistent and eventful storyline. Second, Bradbury integrates conflict and irony into the story to demonstrate the recurring unhappiness from the characters. One major form of conflict is within Doug’s father, as he speaks with Doug about his internal struggle, “Don’t ever be a Rocket Man. ‘I stopped.’ I mean it, ‘he said.’ Because when you’re out there you want to be here, and when you’re here you want to be out there” (7). The
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