Something Wicked This Way Comes | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Something Wicked This Way Comes | Part 2, Chapters 25–26 : Pursuits | Summary



Part 2, Chapter 25

Miss Foley's house is full of mirrors, which show her the discouraging effects of time. Today, she feels that there is snow falling inside each of them. She is compelled to go to the carnival, not to the maze "where winter slept" but to the carousel "where summer ... kept its lovely time." She calls Charles Halloway and asks him to meet her at the police station in ten minutes (as she intends to report the boys' "theft").

Part 2, Chapter 26

The police take Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway back to town. The boys give fake names and addresses, and are dropped off at homes—not their own—near the police station. Will wants to go tell the police everything they know about the carnival, but Jim points out they would not be believed. Jim still longs to ride the carousel, but Will objects. Suddenly they hear voices coming from the police station. Miss Foley and Mr. Halloway are talking about the burglary inside the station. Will climbs in through the window, interrupting them.


The mirrors in Miss Foley's house are, to her, a smaller version of the Mirror Maze, and they spark in her a fear they will "somehow assemble in billionfold multiplications of self, an army of women marching away to become girls and girls marching to become infinitely small children." Like the Mirror Maze, her own mirrors show her the inevitability of time's progress. Like the Mirror Maze, which is cold and icy, they also contain winter weather. In contrast to the death symbolism of winter and cold, the carousel's promise (or temptation) is to return her to summer, a warm season symbolizing both life and youth.

In Will and Jim's argument about the carnival, readers learn more about Jim's desire to be older. Evidently Will and Jim talked at length about wanting to be older over the summer. Will argues against trying to be older, pointing out they would not be able to be friends anymore if their ages were so different. He also reminds Jim of the words of the preacher: "Everything in its time, like the preacher said only last month." This discussion ties into the theme of dissatisfaction and acceptance. Jim is dissatisfied; he wants to be older. Will agrees with the preacher's admonition to accept "everything in its time."

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