Something Wicked This Way Comes

In Ray Bradbury?s Something Wicked This Way Comes, Jim and Will are

portrayed as characters with few similarities: being extremely close in age, and living

next door to each other being the two main parallels. Will is born only minutes before

his counterpart, but he is born in the closing minutes of All Saints Day, October 30, and

Jim in the initial minutes of Halloween. As for these two days that the boys are born, the

former seems to represent righteousness and innocence, while the connotations that

belong to Halloween are evil and depressing; two consecutive holidays, yet completely

opposite implications. The fact that Jim and Will are born within minutes of each other

draws them closer, but like the difference between the two holidays they exemplify, the

situation still has them separated. The relationship that Jim and Will possess consists of

interdependent opposites, and their interactions between each other develop a unity that

consistently brings the two companions closer together.

Jim and Will?s relationship is connected through opposites that go perfectly

together. While this may seem like a paradox, it is proved time and again throughout the

novel. "...Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim"(18).

This comes towards the beginning when the two are sprinting home, one running slower

than his normal pace and the other faster. Obviously running faster is an opposite of

running slower, and it is understood that the two are running together. Therefore, when

the two opposites (running faster and running slower) are applied together, they fit

perfectly since the boys are running with each other. Another example is "The wind flew

Jim away. A similar kite, Will swooped to follow"(16). This quotation comes early in

the novel, when Jim wants to return home as quickly as possible in anticipation of a

coming storm. In this case, the opposites are that Jim is a leader, and very impulsive,
while Will always follows along with Jim?s plan. These two different personality traits

are combined, though, as the boys are both doing the same action of running home. Jim

is a kite, leading the way and Will is a similar kite, rushing to follow Jim.

The interactions between Jim and Will strengthen the bond between them. One

such adventure was when the two boys crept out of bed at three AM to see the carnival

arriving. "You wouldn?t let me come alone. You?re always going to be around, aren?t

you, Will? To protect me?"(68). In this escapade, both are very frightened by what they

witness. Jim realizes that Will is the person who holds him back before he gets himself

into trouble. They are brought closer together by the fact that they are afraid to be alone

in that situation, and they are also closer at the realization of how Will holds Jim back.

On the following page, Jim says "You?ll always be with me, huh, Will?"(69). Straight

from the horse?s mouth, they are inseparable. Another example of this is "Oh, Jim, Jim,"

Will said. "We?ll be pals forever"(281). This quotation came after the carnival was

destroyed, and Jim was brought back from certain doom. The adventure that was

experienced, with murderous freaks, and infinite misery being the consequence of failure,

is the ultimate challenge that brings the two closer than ever before. The knot that holds

Jim and Will together is tightened for good. Both ultimately realize how much each

depends on the other, and as Will said, they will be friends forever.

Jim and Will?s connection involves opposites in personality. When these

opposite traits or actions are placed together, they are interdependent; matched perfectly

for the situation. Will is definitely a follower, and Jim just the opposite, but the two are

inevitably equal when they experience adventures together, and the two of them are

forced to work together to overcome evil. The first time that either of the two boys were
alone comes in this novel, and it is during these times that they realize how much they

truly depend on each other for security. This novel is about the differing personalities of

two unlikely companions, and how their actions together are eventually equal with each