The Illustrated Man

Published: 2021-06-29 07:06:05
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The Illustrated Man
In the novel, The Illustrated Man, written by Ray Bradbury, the nature of mankind is explored through eighteen science fiction short stories. Although none of these stories are connected, there is a reoccurring theme of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people. The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame of "the illustrated man", a homeless man with a tattooed body. The tattoos on this man have allegedly been created by a woman from the future, in which each tattoo was meant to become animated and tell its own story. This man cannot stay in one place for a very long time, for his tattoos tend to show the future of the people he is around. Therefore one day, the unnamed narrator stumbled upon this tattooed man and was quite curious about all of the pictures all over his body. The illustrated man warned him about what will happen if the man were to stay around and watch the tattoos come to life; however, the man insisted on staying. There, right before his eyes, each tattoo came to life and told its story. The first tattoo that came to life tells the story known as The Veldt. In this story, there lived the Hadley family with a technologically advanced house with a nursery, which is a virtual reality room that transforms into places that the children of the Hadley family imagine. The children of George and Lydia Hadley, Peter and Wendy, have always been obedient to their parents until the day their father threatened to turn off the nursery for good. Ever since, the children have started to rebel and have spent even more time in the nursery creating an African setting filled with what appear to be real plants as well as wild animals such as lions. One day, the parents decided to check out the nursery and see what the children have created and it turns out they got locked in there by the children as punishment for trying to turn off the nursery. Although nothing is supposed to be real in the nursery, the lions appear more alive than normal and actually end up killing the parents. The novel concludes with all of the stories of the illustrated man told. All that was left was an empty space on the back of the illustrated man that started to form a new image immediately. Now, the illustrated man had already warned the man that if he stayed too long, he as well would see his fate; soon the colors and the shape coalesced into an image that showed the illustrated man choking the narrator to death. The narrator then flees to the nearest town, to escape his fate.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would definitely recommend this book to others. It had a great theme and reoccurring message throughout the novel even though none of the stories were actually connected to each other. I really enjoyed reading this because it explored the depth of the human mind and the psychology of people which I find fascinating and hope to have a

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