“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury

“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury Skeleton Notes


1) A rich man wants to travel back in time. He gets to go on a safari hunt to kill a T-Rex since the T-Rex is going to die in a few minutes anyway. He has been warned not to stray off the anti-gravity path but he gets excited and falls off the path.
2) Scientists are afraid he may have stepped on something which would change its population and are truly angry.
3) They want to leave him in the past. They intend to force him off the Time Machine.
4) They are afraid they will loose their insurance if the company finds out. They have to make a report to the government. They force Ekels outside.
5 Ekels has to retrieve the bullets because they don't belong in the past. Leaving them could change everything.
6)They return back to 2055. Things feel different. When Ekels investigates, he finds a particular butterfly has been crushed on the bottom of his shoe.
7) Ekels realizes the killing of one small butterfly has changed history.

: Ion think you ever gonna get a answer that's to much


Basically Travis is giving a quick lesson on the food chain. If you get rid of one species, you end up eradicating the species that feeds on it.

"All right," Travis continued, "say we accidentally kill one mouse here. That means all the future families of this one particular mouse are destroyed, right?"


"And all the families of the families of the families of that one mouse! With a stamp of your foot, you annihilate first one, then a dozen, then a thousand, a million, a billion possible mice!"


D) Eckle's



Use the following guidelines to help you write your critical response essay.

Please read all of these instructions very carefully before you begin writing your essay.

Make sure you understand what is required for each part of this essay (Introduction,

Body, and Conclusion) before you begin writing. It is a good idea to make notes for each

section or to create a short outline to help organize your thoughts.

Please follow these steps when completing the Critical Response Essay in Unit 4.

1. Reading

Read the stories “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury and “Nethergrave” by

Gloria Skurzynski very carefully, making sure you have a thorough understanding

of each. This may mean reading both stories more than once.

2. Reflect

Think of the literary elements in each story such as plot, setting, characterization,

dialogue, point of view, tone, and especially theme. Also, consider how both

stories fit into the genre (category) of science fiction.

3. Thesis Statement

Your essay will begin with an introduction. This will include a thesis statement

that says which of the stories you think is the best and WHY you feel this way. An

example of a thesis statement would be as follows:

“Ray Bradbury’s story “A Sound of Thunder” is a stronger work of science

fiction than Gloria Skurzynski’s “Nethergrave” because it involves time

travel, has better characterization, and its theme reveals how even the

smallest act can have an impact on the future of mankind.”

(This is an example of a thesis statement. Please do NOT use this in your


Remember, your thesis statement should be clear and valid. This means your

thesis is easy to understand and that you will be able to prove it through the

explanations you provide in the body of your paper. Your introduction will also

briefly state the main points you will cover throughout your essay.

4. Body

The body of your paper should be divided into three paragraphs. Each

paragraph will fit in with the claims you made in your thesis statement. You will

use examples from both stories to provide support.

Paragraph 1 – Discuss how each of these stories fit into the genre of

science fiction. What elements or events in EACH story make it science

fiction? This can include the story’s setting, types of technology used,

events from the plot of the story, etc. Make sure you mention elements

from BOTH stories as you will be comparing and contrasting.

Paragraph 2 – Next, choose ONE literary element (characterization,

point of view, tone, etc.) and explain how the authors use this literary

element in each story. Do not choose theme for this section as you will

use this in your third body paragraph. Which story do you think uses this

element more effectively and WHY do you think this? Only use ONE

literary element and apply this to both stories. For example, you would

talk about Tone in “A Sound of Thunder” and Tone in “Nethergrave.” You

are comparing and contrasting the two stories and will apply the same

literary element to each.

Paragraph 3 – In your last body paragraph, you will discuss the themes

found in each story. Remember, the theme is the message the author

wishes to convey. It is what he or she wants you to learn or to take away

from the story. What are the themes of “A Sound of Thunder” and

“Nethergrave?” Which theme do you think is more effective and WHY?

You will compare/contrast ONE theme from EACH story.

5. Conclusion

In the conclusion of your paper, you will restate your thesis from the

introduction. Restating the thesis means that you will say it in a different way. Do

not simply copy and paste the thesis statement from your introduction. You will

elaborate on your opinion as to which story you think is better and why you feel

this way. Also in your conclusion, you will briefly sum up the major points of your

paper, highlighting what you feel is most important.

Note: When writing Critical Response Essays, always use present tense, even if

the story is written in past tense. For example, in your essay you would say, “Eckles

steps off the path on his way back to the time capsule” rather than “Eckles stepped

off the path on his way back to the time capsule.” Use the present tense of verbs

when referring to the events in the stories.



Each warning to Eckels foreshadows the same thing. They foreshadow that Eckels is going to get scared and ruin the present/future. The first warning to Eckels is that the trip is dangerous. It's so dangerous, he might not come back alive.



We don’t know for sure. What we do know is that a group of hunters went back to prehistoric time with the Time Safari leaders to shoot and kill a Tyrannosaurus rex that would have been downed by a falling tree anyway. They have taken every precaution to make sure that any action they take in the past will not affect the future in any way. Hunters are told to stay on the path and to not touch anything. Unfortunately, Eckels is so traumatized by the sight and sound of the huge creature that he heads back to the safety of the time machine without paying any attention to what he is doing. When the group returns to the present day, they see that both life and language have changed. It turns out that Eckels accidentally stepped on and killed a butterfly. Group leader Travis is seething with fury. We read the lines that show that Travis readies his rifle for firing. Then the story ends aptly and abruptly with “a sound of thunder.” Travis killed someone, but who? Did he kill Eckels for his mistake? Or did he kill himself, so that he wouldn’t have to answer to authorities about the grave error, and so that Eckels would have to live with the responsibility of what he’d done?

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just to let yk ion think you ever gonna get a answer that's to much


This book is from Eckle's perspective.


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