Something Wicked This Way Comes | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Something Wicked This Way Comes | Part 1, Chapters 21–22 : Arrivals | Summary



Part 1, Chapter 21

Will Halloway waits, hoping Jim Nightshade will come out. At 10:35, he sees Jim climb down the drainpipe, trying to sneak off without him. Will follows. They arrive at Miss Foley's house.

Part 1, Chapter 22

Will Halloway watches as Jim Nightshade calls quietly up to the second-floor window of Miss Foley's house. A figure at the window disappears, and Will knows Mr. Cooger, still a young boy, is on his way outside to meet Jim. He takes this moment to make himself known. Jim is not too pleased. He wants Will to leave. Will realizes Jim wants the boy to take him on the carousel—not backward, but forward. Will leaps on Jim and wrestles him to keep him quiet. The boy comes out with his hands full of Miss Foley's jewelry. Mr. Cooger runs away, dropping the jewelry, but Will and Jim begin picking it up. Miss Foley looks out and sees Jim and Will with hands full of her jewelry, and yells after them. Jim runs after Mr. Cooger, and Will follows.


This episode develops an important aspect of the goodness versus wickedness theme. Wickedness seeks to divide and conquer. Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger both want to isolate Jim from his friend, then ensnare him with the carnival's magic. As Jim gives in to temptation, he goes off alone. Goodness, on the other hand, depends on unity (what Charles Halloway will later call "common cause.") Jim's friendship with Will saves him from disaster. Will's sense of solidarity with and care for Jim, even when his friend is making bad choices, impels him to follow his friend so that he is there at the crucial moment, literally holding him back from following Mr. Cooger.

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