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The Man Who Could Work Miracles by HG Wells and A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

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In comparison, both stories inspire me into discussing the immense differences they both have between each other. Both stories have extreme similarities; yet, they have miraculous differences. Both ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles,’ and ‘A Sound of Thunder’ are written in the genre of sci-fi and both are very stereotypical. Science fiction is a genre of fiction in which advances in science, or contact with more scientifically advanced civilizations, create situations different from those of both the present day and the known past.

The Man Who Could Work Miracles’ is a story based upon an abstruse character – George Fotheringay. Fotheringay is no bleeding-heart aching to turn the world into a painless utopia, but a nondescript man who takes his time to figure out just what has happened to him before bringing everything to a head. Inside this story, H. G. Wells accentuates the character – Fotheringay – by exploiting how he is against miracles – ‘let us understand what a miracle is… something that couldn’t happen without being specially willed.

As shown, Fotheringay is totally unaware of the extraordinary coincidence that is going to endure him. His disbelief in miracles causes him, later, to have the power to cast such great astonishing achievements. Once given these miraculous powers, Fotheringay uses them, if you will, very selfishly – wishing for a nice, soft woollen nightshirt. Finally experimenting to an extent he haughtily takes his powers and uses them to stop time in order to return to his occupation promptly. Unexpectedly, the plan fails and causes every life form and item on earth to be hovering anti-gravitationally.

As a result of this, he demands to correct all harm he has caused and to have his powers eradicated and for everything to turn back to its original state. Contained in the story, H. G. Wells uses biblical language to interpret the significant miracles that Fotheringay conjures. ‘Go to Hades,’ Fotheringay announces, as he accidentally summons Mr Winch – a constable – to the underworld. This exaggerates the extremity of the condition Fotheringay has been given. ‘The miracle of Moses’ rod came to his mind’ – this augments the text, creating a realistic image and grasps the reader to focus on a story that differs from this one.

This compares this story to a biblical story also. An extract I focused on in the text is when Fotheringay announces to a preacher – Mr Maydig – about his powers that befall him. ‘Tobacco jar… be a bowel of vi’lets,’ is the miracle he uses to notify Maydig the extremity of his matter. Maydig takes this news as a shock: yet, he supports Fotheringay of his powers. Fotheringay – as a reward to Mr Maydig for his esteem – grants Maydig with the option that he will transform his housekeeper – Mrs Minchin – into a better person: to this, Maydig accepted and the results were superlative.

A changed woman became of Mrs Minchin and Maydig was flabbergasted. The mood throughout ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles,’ differs at the end to how it did at the beginning. From the start of the extract, Fotheringay came across as a pungent, self – absorbed man. ‘Look here, Mr Beamish… a miracle is… done by the power of will’ – Fotheringay commands in a selfish manor. This emphasises the crudeness in his behaviour and how it differs to closing stages of the story. ‘Let me lose my miraculous powers… all these dangerous miracles be stopped…

No more miracles’ – his sense of attitude is still demanding but it differs as it has a hint of remorse and guilt in his voice. His overall mood is as if it’s a heart monitor: it sways and continuously. ‘A Sound of Thunder,’ by Ray Bradbury, bases the outline of the story around a character – Eckels. Eckels’ characteristics are of a shrewd nature. He seems to be very egocentric and a very decisive man, with little respect for others but himself. In a sense, he could be compared with Fotheringay – from ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles’ – for his selfishness. Roisterously, he flashes about a cheque, written on it, ten thousand dollars.

Paying for a trip back in time to explore and hunt the dinosaurs and their nature, he doesn’t realise to a full extent the danger he is putting himself and others in. Before embarking on his adventure of a life time, a number of rules are requested from Mr Travis – ‘the safari guide’ if u will – which he later disobeys without any thought. The exhibition he – himself – is volunteering on with a hefty price of ten thousand dollars is to journey back in time and pursues a Jurassic beast -Tyrannosaurus Rex. The main rule stated from the mouth of Travis was, ‘Stay on the anti-gravity path.

Don’t get off it… For any reason! ‘ After this rule was exclaimed, Travis introduced a large, endless mouth-watering speech he had ordered to tell the time travellers. ‘Stomping on one mouse would mean… a family of mice would be destroyed… annihilating one mouse would kill a dozen, then a thousand, then a million… ‘ – this speech exaggerates that the future can radically be distorted from the effect of one incident. Travis, taking this into deep thought, still requests to proceed with his adventure (later realising it was a mistake to meddle with history).

Ray Bradbury is a very effective writer and creates an enthusiastic approach to his writing: the way he uses thrilling characterisations in his character’s personalities is outstanding. The personality of Eckels is of a rare kind; similarly, he has common resemblances with Fotheringay. Both characters make dire mistakes and they both are willing to amend them with no change. Eckels does not have an option into whether he can rearrange his mistakes and so-fourth his life is taken.

As did ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles,’ Ray Bradbury also uses biblical language: coincidently it is of a similar topic. Moses has not gone to the mountain to talk with God,’ is an example of this biblical language he facilitates in his writing. ‘Christ isn’t born yet,’ demonstrates the tremendous realisation the ‘time-tourists’ had experienced. The passage explaining the true highlight to the story is what I feel, the most adventurous. Focusing about the T Rex extravaganza, astonishes me and to speed up the pace of the story. ‘The monster… lunged forward with a terrible scream’ – describes the exhilarating adrenalin rush.

Continuing -‘the monster roared, teeth glittering with sun’ – describes how such a beast can almost be blinding. The use of the metaphor, glazes the quote giving it an incredible glossy finish. ‘The reptile’s tail swung up… trees exploded in clouds’ – creates an unforgettable atmospheric situation. The way the extract is structures is as if it is in a form of a list. The velocity is increased after each dramatic phrase. This polishes the uniqueness Bradbury uses in his writing. The final couple of paragraphs to ‘A Sound of Thunder’ are the key factors to the story.

The misfortune of Eckels accidentally standing on an innocent butterfly in the past, leads the present to change in a colossal manor. As the ‘time travellers’ – if u will – journey back to the future, Eckels discovers the sign has been amended from a difference in language as an effect of his accidental destruction of a little butterfly. A list to emphasise the text and to create a tense feeling can also be superb. ‘Can’t we take it back, can’t we make it alive again, can’t we start over can’t we – ‘a key feature to this is repetition.

This enables the text to be logged in to the reader’s memory exhausting the matter that it is an important issue. The very last line, ‘There was a sound of thunder,’ creates a heart-throb situation wanting the reader to empathise the death of the main character – Eckels. In conclusion to both the stories, I feel both writers have capabilities to make a shrub look tall and a tree look small and they both maintain a high density detailed piece of writing and are able to inspire the reader into continuing the story – thus, it may have already ended.

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