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The Illustrated Man discussion > "The Last Night of the World" by Ray Bradbury

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This is our discussion of the short story....

" The Last Night of the World " by Ray Bradbury

From the anthology The Illustrated Man collection by Ray Bradbury. See The Illustrated Man anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.


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Shared premonitions & dreams lead a husband & wife to conclude tonight (Oct 19, 1969 – almost 20 years in Bradbury's future) is the end of the world. (I check the date on Wikipedia – the world didn't end then.) Despite this, they continue with a rather ordinary evening and go to bed as usual. Nothing out to the ordinary here. This is the antithesis of the way approaching death drives men mad in "The Long Rain," "Kaleidoscope," & "The Visitor".

Bradbury leaves the cause of the onrushing end unspecified, so as to eliminate any urge to try to avoid it. The couple here skips all the Kübler-Ross steps and jumps straight to Acceptance.

I kept expecting this would be a more tragic story.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Just as an aside, I recently watched the 1969 movie adaptation of this story, and they really changed it. Now I know why I was expecting a more tragic story.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I didn't care much for this one. It's not much different than what Simon said on the Walking Dead: "What if it's the last day on Earth for you? For someone you love? What if that's true? Think about it."


Donald | 157 comments It answers the question "What if it's the last day on Earth?" with a shrug, which approximates my response to this story.


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