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Free Study Guide-Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 10

Summary

Just after midnight, the lightning rod salesman is wandering down Main Street. As he stops at a shop window, he notices the chunk of ice in a shop. He knows that the most beautiful woman in the world is sealed in the ice. He imagines what she might look like, and his mind wanders back to the beautiful women he has met throughout the world during the course of his life. He wonders about the color of her hair and her height. He tries to shrug the block of ice off, but then he realizes that knows what color her eyes would be if he could simply melt the ice off of her. He finds the shop door open and wanders in, hoping to be with the most beautiful woman in the world.

Notes

This chapter furthers the theme of lost youth. The salesman's memories of beautiful women allow him to want to believe the most beautiful woman in the world is locked within the ice. His regrets won't allow him to simply leave the idea on the street. His belief that he would know her eye color forces him to enter the shop, causing his subsequent supernatural downfall. He, like so many other characters in the novel, wants unattainable perfection. His focus on things he cannot have leads him to a downfall that will not be revealed for sometime.


CHAPTER 11

Summary

At three in the morning, Will wakes up to the sound of a train. Both he and Jim sit up in bed in their separate homes. Calliope music softly plays in the distance. The boys glance out from their high windows to the prairie, and as the train appears link by link, the boys grab their binoculars. They realize the train is much older than most trains, as the engine is Civil War era. Then they see cages on the train and surmise that the train must be a carnival train. The calliope music, though, has shifted to a damaged version of church music, a change that does not sit easy with Will. Jim decides to watch the carnival go set up. He throws his clothes on and climbs down the drainpipe of his house. Will reluctantly follows.

Notes

The sound of the train wakes both of the boys, a sign of their youth. Their youth further allows them extensive curiosity and excitement about the train. The experience, however, begins to scare Will as he is alerted to the sound of church music. Religion is supposed to symbolize goodness, but the mutilated church music signals evil. Despite Willís fear, he follows Jim. The antiquated train symbolizes the idea that the carnival has been in operation for many years.

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Free Study Guide-Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
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