100%(3)3 out of 3 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 10 pages.
1QuigleyAP English Literature and CompositionJune 10,2011Fantasy and Realism: An Examination of the Fantastic in Fahrenheit 451and Dandelion WineRay Bradbury was born and raised in Waukegan,Illinois,a small,iconic Midwestern town.This town,as well as Bradbury’s experiences there,serves as a basis for the setting and plot of Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine.Throughout this novel,he illustrates the many traditional values that were impressed upon him as a young boy.In his earlier novel,Fahrenheit 451,Bradbury conveys the widespread fear of communism and censorship that was felt in America in the 1950s,while also demonstrating the values of this time period.In both novels,Bradbury uses fantastical elements to tell realistic stories that reflect the values that he has acquired throughout his life.Dandelion Wine,although written in 1957,is set in the summer of 1928 in fictional Green Town,Illinois.When writing the novel at age 37,Bradbury drew upon his childhood experiences in Waukegan,Illinois.Dandelion Winefollows Douglas Spaulding,a 12-year-old boy,and his family,friends,and neighbors as they pass the summer in Green Town,a town that aims to amaze and fascinate,rather than pretend to
2be normal (Merritt).Douglas,the main character in the story,is loosely based upon a younger Bradbury.As the Bradbury family did,the Douglas and his family live next door to his grandparents.Some of Bradbury’s most treasured memories of Waukegan stem from the various rituals that his family performed each year.In the novel,young Douglas documents similar rituals of summer on a nickel tablet under the heading “Rites and Ceremonies,” and writes how he feels about the ritual under the heading “Discoveries and Revelations” (Dandelion Wine 27).Douglas describes the rituals to his brother Tom,saying that it’s “every year the same things,same way,no change no difference.That’s one half of summer,Tom.” (DW 26).He goes on,saying that,after a ritual has been performed,“you think about it,and whatever you think,crazy or not, you put under Discoveries and Revelations,” (DW 27).Douglas’s nickel tablet reappears throughout the novel,emphasizing the impact that Bradbury’s childhood traditions had on him.In Dandelion Wine,Bradbury employs several fantastic elements to further his otherwise realistic story. One example of this is when Grandpa Spaulding’s neighbor brings over a few flats of a new type of grass that never needs to be cut.