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A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. Feature Menu. Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Style Reading Skills: Cause and Effect. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. Who controls the past controls the future. —George Orwell.

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a sound of thunder by ray bradbury
A Sound of Thunderby Ray Bradbury

Feature Menu

Introducing the Story

Literary Focus: Style

Reading Skills: Cause and Effect

a sound of thunder by ray bradbury3
A Sound of Thunderby Ray Bradbury

Who controls the past controls the future.

—George Orwell

a sound of thunder introducing the story
A Sound of ThunderIntroducing the Story

It’s the year 2055. Eckels, a wealthy hunter, wants to travel back in time to shoot a ferocious dinosaur. But he gets in over his head when he books passage with Time Safari, Inc.

  • This story explores the possibility that even tiny changes to the environment of the past can drastically alter the future.
a sound of thunder introducing the story5
A Sound of ThunderIntroducing the Story

T-rex lived during the late Cretaceous Period. What other life forms were around then?

insects similar to today’s

the first flowering plants

marine invertebrates

[End of Section]

a sound of thunder literary focus style
A Sound of ThunderLiterary Focus: Style

Style—the particular way a writer uses language.

  • Writers use diction, or word choice, to create style. For example, some writers use long, elegant words; others prefer shorter, everyday words.
  • Style is also created through the sentence patterns writers use. Sentences can be short or long, simple or complicated.
a sound of thunder literary focus style7
A Sound of ThunderLiterary Focus: Style

The use of vivid images and figurative language often plays a part in a writer’s style.

  • Images—words and phrases that appeal to the senses.
  • Figurative language—imaginative comparisons between seemingly unlike things.
a sound of thunder literary focus style8
A Sound of ThunderLiterary Focus: Style

Ray Bradbury tells this science-fiction story in a lush style.

  • He uses vivid images and imaginative figurative language to create an exotic setting.
  • The setting and the figurative language shape a tense and suspenseful mood, or atmosphere.
a sound of thunder literary focus style9
A Sound of ThunderLiterary Focus: Style

As you read “A Sound of Thunder,” notice the elements of Bradbury’s style.

  • Diction and sentence patterns: How do they create a distinctive writing style?
  • Images:Which of your senses do they appeal to? What feelings do they evoke for you?
  • Figurative language:How does it help create the setting? the mood?

[End of Section]

a sound of thunder reading skills cause and effect

Cause

Effect

A power outage occurs at 2:30 A.M.

Marissa’s alarmdoes not go off.

Cause

Effect

Marissa’s alarmdoes not go off.

Marissa missesher gymnasticsmeet.

A Sound of ThunderReading Skills: Cause and Effect

The events in a plot are interconnected, like links in a chain: One cause leads to an effect, which causes another effect, and so on.

a sound of thunder reading skills cause and effect11

Time-travelinghuman steps on butterfly in past.

Butterfly populationdeclines.

Entire ecosystemis upset.

Humans evolvein differentenvironment.

Moderncivilization is altered.

A Sound of ThunderReading Skills: Cause and Effect

The plot of “A Sound of Thunder” is based on a theoretical cause-and-effect chain that might look something like this:

[End of Section]