Something Wicked This Way Comes | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Course Hero, "Something Wicked This Way Comes Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Something-Wicked-This-Way-Comes/.

Something Wicked This Way Comes | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Friday, Oct. 23

    The lightning-rod seller gives a lightning rod to Jim Nightshade.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • Around 9 p.m., Oct. 23

    Jim and Will Halloway find the handbill for Cooger & Dark's Carnival.

    Part 1, Chapter 7
  • 3 a.m., Oct. 24

    The carnival train arrives in the town.

    Part 1, Chapter 11
  • Oct. 24

    Will saves Miss Foley from the Mirror Maze.

    Part 1, Chapter 15
  • Sunset, Oct. 24

    Will saves Jim from the Mirror Maze.

    Part 1, Chapter 16
  • After sunset, Oct. 24

    The boys see Mr. Cooger become young on the carousel.

    Part 1, Chapter 18
  • After 10 p.m., Oct. 24

    The boys see Mr. Cooger become very old on the carousel.

    Part 1, Chapter 23
  • 4 a.m., Oct. 25

    Will deflates the Dust Witch's balloon.

    Part 2, Chapter 30
  • Sunday, Oct. 25

    The carnival parade searches for Jim and Will.

    Part 2, Chapter 32
  • 11:15 a.m., Oct. 25

    Charles Halloway first meets Mr. Dark.

    Part 2, Chapter 35
  • After 7 p.m., Oct. 25

    Mr. Dark abducts Jim and Will from the library.

    Part 2, Chapter 43
  • Later that evening

    Charles Halloway defeats the Dust Witch, learning that smiles and laughter repel the carnival freaks.

    Part 2, Chapter 44
  • Later that evening

    Charles Halloway performs the bullet trick, placing a smile on the bullet that kills the Dust Witch.

    Part 3, Chapter 47
  • Later that evening

    Will saves Charles Halloway from the Mirror Maze.

    Part 3, Chapter 49
  • Later that evening

    Jim tries to ride the carousel, but Will pulls him off.

    Part 3, Chapter 51
  • Later that evening

    Charles Halloway recognizes a child as Mr. Dark, and embraces him, killing him with kindness.

    Part 3, Chapter 52
  • Later that evening

    Will and Charles Halloway revive Jim by dancing and laughing.

    Part 3, Chapter 54
  • Just before midnight

    The three are tempted to use the carousel, but Charles Halloway breaks its control box.

    Part 3, Chapter 54
  • Midnight

    Will, Jim, and Charles Halloway race back to town.

    Part 3, Chapter 54

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Dedication and Epigraph Bradbury dedicates the novel to Gene Kelly, whose performances "influenced and changed" his life. The epigraph... Read More
Prologue The Prologue introduces the time of year in which the story takes place: October. It suggests that October is a time whe... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 1–2 On Friday, October 23, a man selling lightning rods arrives, just ahead of a storm, in Green Town, Illinois. As he goe... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 3–4 Charles Halloway watches the boys run away from the library as he closes up. He thinks about the differences between t... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 5–6 Leaving the saloon, Charles Halloway sees a man in a dark suit across the street. The man is carrying rolls of paper a... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 7–8 As he heads home, Will Halloway feels someone come up behind him. It is Jim Nightshade, who was disappointed to find t... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 9–10 Jim Nightshade is in bed, holding a library book but not reading it. Jim's mother comes in and sits on his bed. Jim is... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 11–12 The clocks chime 1, then 2, then 3 a.m. Will Halloway hears the sound of a train in the distance and sits up in bed. J... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 13–14 Charles Halloway stands at the open window of the library, the cold air blowing in. He sees Jim Nightshade and Will Ha... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 15–16 In the morning, the weather is clear and lovely. Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway quickly eat breakfast and go to the ... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 17–18 The leather bag is Tom Fury's, the lightning-rod salesman. Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway note that the storm he pre... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 19–20 The boys pursue the now-young Mr. Cooger and follow him to Miss Foley's house. They ring the doorbell, and Miss Foley ... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 21–22 Will Halloway waits, hoping Jim Nightshade will come out. At 10:35, he sees Jim climb down the drainpipe, trying to sn... Read More
Part 1, Chapters 23–24 Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade run after the escaping Mr. Cooger. Will assumes Cooger will try to ride the carousel ... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 25–26 Miss Foley's house is full of mirrors, which show her the discouraging effects of time. Today, she feels that there is... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 27–28 Charles Halloway walks with the boys back to their homes. Jim Nightshade reveals a hidden ladder and climbs up the sid... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 29–30 An hour after Will Halloway falls asleep, he wakes up, and suddenly thinks of the lightning rod. He looks out and sees... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 31–32 This short chapter says only "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night." At dawn, a thunderstorm... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 33–34 Charles Halloway answers the phone when his son calls. "We got to hide. They're looking for us," Will Halloway tells h... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 35–36 Charles Halloway is having coffee at Ned's Night Spot when a man enters and places his hand next to him. Each finger h... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 37–38 Charles Halloway has spent the day observing the carnival. He saw the peril of the Mirror Maze but did not fall prey. ... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 39–40 Charles Halloway tells the boys that the carnival comes to town periodically to harvest "Unconnected fools." He says t... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 41–42 Mr. Dark finds Charles Halloway in the library, and asks him where the boys are. Mr. Halloway denies knowing their whe... Read More
Part 2, Chapters 43–44 Mr. Dark shows the palms of his hands to the boys, on which their pictures are tattooed. Then he grabs them. Charles H... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 45–46 Mr. Dark marches Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade toward the carnival as the assorted carnival folk follow along. Mech... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 47–48 Charles Halloway comes through the crowd and climbs onto the platform. He must fire the gun with one hand, as his left... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 49–50 In the dark, Will Halloway fumbles in his pockets and finds matches. He strikes one, but his dad becomes overwhelmed b... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 51–52 Will Halloway and Charles Halloway head toward the carousel as they see blue sparks and hear its music, first played b... Read More
Part 3, Chapters 53–54 With Mr. Dark dead, the freaks emerge from the shadows and begin to circle around. Charles Halloway watches as the ill... Read More
A Brief Afterword The author's Afterword explains how Gene Kelly's "films and his friendship were a catalyst" for the novel. Bradbury met ... Read More
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