Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine Paper - 1 Quigley AP...

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1QuigleyAP English Literature and CompositionJune 10,2011Fantasy and Realism: An Examination of the Fantasticin Fahrenheit 451and Dandelion WineRay Bradbury was born and raised in Waukegan,Illinois,a small,iconicMidwestern town.This town,as well as Bradbury’s experiences there,serves as a basisfor the setting and plot of Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine.Throughout this novel,heillustrates the many traditional values that were impressed upon him as a young boy.Inhis earlier novel,Fahrenheit 451,Bradbury conveys the widespread fear of communismand censorship that was felt in America in the 1950s,while also demonstrating thevalues of this time period.In both novels,Bradbury uses fantastical elements to tellrealistic 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 infictional Green Town,Illinois.When writing the novel at age 37,Bradbury drew uponhis childhood experiences in Waukegan,Illinois.Dandelion Winefollows DouglasSpaulding,a 12-year-old boy,and his family,friends,and neighbors as they pass thesummer 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 ayounger Bradbury.As the Bradbury family did,the Douglas and his family live nextdoor to his grandparents.Some of Bradbury’s most treasured memories of Waukeganstem from the various rituals that his family performed each year.In the novel,youngDouglas 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 tohis brother Tom,saying that it’s “every year the same things,same way,no change nodifference.That’s one half of summer,Tom.(DW 26).He goes on,saying that,aftera 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 tabletreappears throughout the novel,emphasizing the impact that Bradbury’s childhoodtraditions had on him.In Dandelion Wine,Bradbury employs several fantastic elements to further hisotherwise realistic story.One example of this is when Grandpa Spaulding’s neighborbrings over a few flats of a new type of grass that never needs to be cut.

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Term
Spring
Professor
Uruburu
Tags
English Literature, Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury, younger Bradbury

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