Selfishness In Ray Bradbury's A Sound Of Thunder

1415 Words6 Pages
From the time that we’re young and claiming all the toys for ourselves to the time that we’re old and secretly, or maybe not so secretly, wanting the biggest piece of pie, it is human nature to only care about ourselves. Today’s society drills into our minds that we should “look out for number one,” but in Ray Bradbury’s science fiction story A Sound of Thunder, he tells the reader the complete opposite. In the exciting story about hunters who avoid making an impact on Time and History when they go back in time to shoot dinosaurs, he clearly shows that when people are self-centered, they will do things that hurt themselves and others.
From the beginning, the main character, Eckels, shows selfishness through his actions. One example of Eckels’
…show more content…
For example, when Travis, the leader, told him to shut up because they didn’t want the dinosaur to know they were there, Eckels continues to talk. Even after Travis tells him “Turn around...Walk quietly to the Machine,” (8) Eckels babbles on. The reader can see how he does not have much respect for authority here and is only thinking about himself. He is a newbie, a first-timer, and he blatantly ignores the sound advice of an experienced, time-traveling hunter. He was scared, but if he was less selfish and actually thought about what he was doing, he would have stopped talking. Because he continued to speak, he alerted the dinosaur to their being in the area. This led to big consequences for the other four men who were on this hunting trip that the dinosaur spotted them because it advanced on the men, not allowing them to make the first move. The first move is very significant because the attacker can catch them by surprise and it proves that to the opponent that they are the alpha dog. The dinosaur was the one who attacked, which made it hard for the hunters. This example reveals that Eckels’ self-centered talking caused hurtful consequences for the other men and that saying certain things can impact others immensely. Another example of Eckels’ self-centeredness is after Eckels runs of the path. The action itself is self-centered, but Eckels’ reaction to it is flawed as well. After Travis denies Eckels a ride back to the present age since he ran off the path, Eckels desperately pleads, “‘I’ll pay anything. A hundred thousand dollars.’” (11) This indicates that Eckels shallowly and selfishly values money above many other things, including but not limited to his impact on Time and History when he veered off the Path. Because Eckels does this, it creates more tension between him and Travis, resulting in Travis spitting on Eckels’ checkbook and requiring him to take the bullets out of
Open Document