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

CHAPTER 41

Summary

Charles notes the progress of a shadow toward his position. Dark emerges from the shadows, introduces himself, and asks where the boys are hiding. Charles plays dumb, and Dark threatens to kill him. Charles says he wonít because heís too smart. Dark realizes Charles has researched the carnival, but Charles says he only knows enough about the carnival to be scared. Dark suggest that Charles should be scared, as he has a friend outside who could fix it so Charles seems to have died of heart failure. Charles immediately deduces that the Witch is waiting outside and Dark confirms his suspicions. Dark notices that Charles is holding a Bible, and says that he is naive to think a book could harm him. Dark grabs the book and throws it in the trash. Dark quickly guesses Charlesí age and says that if he helps him within fifteen seconds, heíll shave ten years off of him. Time expires, and Dark tells him to listen to his heart while he finds the boys. As Dark leaves, calling to them, Charles feels as if his heart will tear free.


Notes

Dark is an increasingly intimidating figure, as displayed by this chapter. Dark is unafraid of killing to get what he want, but his intelligence leads him to kill only in a manner where he will not be discovered, so as to allow his carnival of evil to continue. Religious symbolism is again introduced through Charles holding a Bible. Bradbury is making a clear statement that religion, in and of itself, will not save a soul from evil. The mere suggestion that Charles might die of heart failure is enough to scare Charles from fighting Dark, making Dark a more powerful figure.

CHAPTER 42

Summary

The boys stay hidden in their separate places while Dark calls out to them, trying to find them. Dark says that one of them still wants what heís offering, and Jim, unthinking, internally says itís him, but then takes it back. Dark continues to search, telling Jim that if he gives himself up, heíll get a free ride on the carousel. Dark then tries the psychological torture on Will, asking if he knows the location of his mother. Dark paints a tale that has Willís mother riding the carousel until sheís aged far too much. The story scares Will, and he wishes for his father, who is preoccupied with his pounding heart. Dark continues with the story that now has Willís mother knocking on Jimís front door for help, but to no avail. Will begins to sob, and Dark quickly finds both boys.

Notes

Despite all the boys have been through, Jim still wants his ride on the carousel. Dark seems to be able to sense this in Jim. When his enticement toward Jim does not reveal the boys, Dark starts on Will. Dark knows that Will has an inability to hear of suffering, so he picks the closest target, and creates a disgusting picture of Willís mother whose imaginary carousel ride has made her a very old woman who no one will help. Even though Will wishes for Charles to help, Charles is far too preoccupied with the notion that his heart will explode to help Will. Willís sobbing leads Dark to both of the boys, demonstrating that sometimes evil does win.

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