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Becoming Ray Bradbury$
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Jonathan R. Eller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036293

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036293.001.0001

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Exploring the Human Condition

Exploring the Human Condition

Chapter:
(p.104) 17 Exploring the Human Condition
Source:
Becoming Ray Bradbury
Author(s):

Jonathan R. Eller

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036293.003.0018

This chapter focuses on Ray Bradbury's exploration of the human condition during the war years, and how he broadened his horizons through books and beyond. In July 1944, Henry Kuttner suggested a trip East. Bradbury turned to the South instead. Later that summer, he traveled to Mexico. He was interested in understanding not only the multiplicity of cultures in the region, but also his own personality—who he was, and what he believed in. Bradbury believed that the wartime boom in novels exploring faith and the modern crisis of faith distracted from what he called the “real, factual, scientific problems” of the day. This chapter discusses Bradbury's views on the causes of World War II, along with his evolving sense of the challenges facing the future postwar world, and how they were influenced by Philip Wylie's books such as Generation of Vipers (1942). It also considers Bradbury's sentiments about living with the choices we make as individuals, with self-reflection as the key, as well as education, philosophies, aesthetics, and science and technology.

Keywords:   human condition, Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Mexico, personality, faith, World War II, Philip Wylie, Generation of Vipers, self-reflection

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