‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ — the human condition and the carnival


In Ray Bradbury’s 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, a mysterious, dark carnival has come to town. Charles Halloway, father and library janitor, tries to understand the human condition in relation to the carnival:

“So, in sum, what are we? We are the creatures that know and know too much. That leaves us with such a burden again we have a choice, to laugh or cry. No other animal does either. We do both, depending on the season and the need. Somehow, I feel the carnival watches, to see which we’re doing and how and why, and moves in on us when it feels we’re ripe.”

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