9th Grade CP English
13 December 2010
Are Carnival Freaks Made on Purpose?
I believe the carnival freaks in the book “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury are made on purpose. When the people ride the carousel and change their age they have nowhere else to go except to join the carnival, Mr. Dark invites specific people to ride for “free”, and in return Mr. Dark gets more powerful.
People are attracted to the carousel because of their desires. It is almost as if they are brainwashed into riding the carousel. After they ride they can’t go back to their families because no one would know them. Mr. Dark knows this so he turns the newly aged people into carnival freaks and as a result they are forced to surrender their souls and work for him. This is showed when Will and Jim are with the police and they are looking for Mr. Cooger (Mr. Electro) will saw the new dwarf and he swore he knew him. Later he figured out the dwarf was the lightning rod salesman from the beginning of the story. The lightning rod salesman was lured there by the most beautiful woman in the world and now he is a dwarf in Mr. Dark’s carnival army.
Mr. Dark is a very methodical character, in other words he knows beforehand who he wants in his carnival. To get them to join him offers them “free” rides on the carousel. In return for the “free” rides the people he chooses have to give up their souls once they join the carnival. “Tattooed in bright blue ink, wills face gazed up at him from the palm of the right hand.” (173) His tattoos are the documents in his skin that holds their souls. “Every picture remembered from the tall Mr. Dark now rendered down to miniature canvas pronged and forked over a boys tennis racket bones. More freaks with faces the color of beds where so many had lost the battle of souls, emerged from the shadows to glide in a great and ever more curious motion about Charles Halloway and his dropped burden.” (276)
In addition to what I said before about Mr. Dark, every new member he acquires he also acquires a new soul. With this in mind it is my belief that he also becomes powerful with each new “tattoo.” However, the carnival feeds on fear and sorrow for example, when Mr. Halloway and will were in the mirror maze and Mr. Halloway couldn’t stand to look at himself he forced himself to start laughing so he wouldn’t be tempted. So it could be that Mr. Dark gets his power from creating these things to lure people in and feast on their troubles.
Mr. Dark was a powerful leader and creator. He made the freaks on purpose so he could own them, work them, and strike fear and desire into the hearts of the towns people.
Works cited: Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York, NY. William Morrow. 1999. Print.