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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
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Something Wicked This Way Comes, Waukegan, Illinois, all saints day, initial minutes, coming storm, opposites, connotations, parallels, righteousness, counterpart, kite, companions, innocence, anticipation, quotation, wills, paradox, novel, unity, pace, halloween, holidays
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