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Nobody Is Perfect
9 CP English C-3
6 January 2012
Nobody Is Perfect
I’m sure you have experienced it. Maybe you didn’t make the little league baseball team, or maybe you missed a note at your band concert, or maybe you did poorly on a test because you just did not understand that class. Whatever it was that brought you down, I am sure, at some point in your life, somebody has said to you, “Nobody’s perfect!” The theme of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is that everyone is flawed; nobody is truly pure or perfect.
As good as Jim Nightshade proved himself to be, he was still in no way pure or perfect. Jim originally came off as a typical “bad boy,” but he changed throughout the story. He truly did establish himself as a better person than the readers may have initially assumed. But Jim was still flawed. For example, Jim thought about going on the carousel even though Charles and the boys deemed it evil. “Look! the merry-go-round! You want it to go forward, don’t you, Jim?” Will thought (Bradbury 97). Also, Jim was elated whenever they would go to the “theater,” which was really just somebody’s window through which they peeped. When Jim began to ask Will if he would visit the theater, Will shouted, “No.” The story said, “’It’s just there. The fifth house. Just one minute, Will,’ Jim pleaded, softly.” This made Jim a peeping tom, which is certainly not a good trait to possess. Although Jim had changed after he had a near death experience, and he did seem to have become pure by the end of the book, he still had many a flaw and was in no way pure. Another piece of evidence suggesting Jim’s impurity is on page 88. Robert, otherwise known as Mr. Cooger and Mr. Electrico, said, “I’m taking Aunt Willa to the carnival…Join us?” Without hesitation, Jim agreed, even though it was believed that not only the carnival, but Robert, too, was evil. Even when they left, Will was distraught, but Jim seemed just fine. Jim was and remains to be seen as a flawed, imperfect, and impure human being.
Another character to whom this theme may be applied is Will Halloway. Will was just as imperfect and flawed as Jim, or any other person for that matter. For example, Will, also, took part in the breaking of windows in the haunted house. The story reads, “...Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim’s watching” (Bradbury 18). Will allowed peer pressure to get to him, and he broke a window. Doing this is not something he would do had Jim not been along to influence him. Also, in chapter 47, the Dust Witch was shot at the hands of Will. The story said, “The boy grew very calm indeed, with the rifle on his shoulder…And the rifle fired” (Bradbury 248-249). It was originally a job for Charles, but he included Will. Will could have said no and not helped kill the witch. Although she was evil, and he was probably doing the world a favor by killing her, this definitely helps to prove Will impure. Furthermore, the story says, “Will hauled off and hit Jim, hard, on the nose” (Bradbury 98). When Will was assuming that Jim was fantasizing about riding the carousel and growing younger, he lost his temper. He gained so much anger that he punched Jim on the nose! It is absolutely fair to say Will exhibits a flaw here, as he exhibits many others throughout the book.
Charles Halloway, also, is an excellent model of this theme. For example, when explaining thoughts of Charles, the story says, “Somewhere in him, a shadow turned mournfully over. You had to run with a night like this, so the sadness could not hurt” (Bradbury 17). Charles was a very depressed and damaged person in the beginning of the story. He hurt his son and wife by his depression and lack of energy. This led Charles to spend a lot of time away from home and his family. He spent an extensive amount of time at work and at the bar. “Five minutes later, he turned into the corner saloon for his nightly one-and-only drink…So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling in the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned” (Bradbury 18-19). He also stayed late at work several evenings, as he did on page 55 when he was at work until three in the morning, and he saw the boys running around as the carnival came into town. Again, this must have hurt the feelings of his family. This is definitely a symptom of impurity and imperfection. Additionally, Will asked his father if he thought he was a good person. He replied, “To you and your mother, yes, I try. But no man’s a hero to himself” (Bradbury 134). Here Charles admitted that he tried to be good, but he knew he was not perfect.
Always be mindful that perfection is a goal that is impossible to achieve. As cliché as it may be, nobody is perfect. Just as you have learned that this is true of all the characters of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, it is also true of all humans that no one can be pure or perfect. Everybody has flaws.
Article posted January 20, 2012 at 09:05 AM •
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