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

CHAPTER 36

Summary

As the Dwarf is headed down the street, he realizes that he saw the boys under the grate. He tells Dark, and they go look. The boys are gone, but Tetley, the cigar story proprietor asks them what they’re looking for and tries to start a conversation with them.

Notes

The boys have just missed danger. Tetley’s attempt at conversation with Dark and the Dwarf displays his ignorance, as he is completely unable to sense the evil emanating from them.

CHAPTER 37

Summary

As the clock strikes seven, Charles sits in the library looking through an assortment of books. Charles informed the mothers that the boys had taken a job at the carnival, and he spent a strange day seeing the carnival’s sights and sensing its evils. At sundown, he had headed back toward the library, where he looked at books and pictures that dealt with all sorts of evil. He arranges the texts in a type of clock shape on the table. He feels he has little to base a reading on, for it is all so strange. He wonders what it is about the boys that had made him believe. He feels, though, he’s seen proof of the evil during his travels over the course of the day. He considers Shakespeare’s line “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” This is a though he does not want to deal with, so he quietly waits for Will and Jim.


Notes

Charles now believes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the carnival is evil. He’d hoped his ‘clock’ on the table would help him sort things out, but he realizes it won’t. He’s only left with the final realization that evil has arrived, and something has to be done

CHAPTER 38

Summary

The boys finally make it to the library, and they tell Charles the story of their day. They hid in old barns and garages, they chatted with the police chief, they hid in churches, and they were about to give themselves to the carnival because they were bored when the sun went down and they snuck over to the library. They ten tell Charles the entire story, and he says he believes them. Will, feeling relieved, says he wants to cry, but all involved realize there is no time for that. Charles describes that he’s found a record of the carnival arriving in October every so often under a version of the same name: Cooger and Dark. Charles calls them “Autumn People,” and tells the boys that those kinds of people have nothing but the season of fall, so they do not enjoy the refreshment of the other seasons. Charles mentions that at some point, almost everyone is an autumn person - an idea that frightens both of the boys. He says that right now, though, it seems as if he’s here to help them, even if it is a bit late in the game.

Notes

The fact that Charles believes the boys’ story is another strong turning point in the text. The boys need help, and belief, for them, is the first step. At the end of the chapter, Charles admits that though he does not hold a strong belief in himself, he does seem to be there to help the boys. The story Charles relates of the autumn people is the first step in helping the boys understand the carnival and human nature.

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