Thesis- Bradbury utilizes the motif of hope throughout “The Fox and the Forest,” “The Long Rain,” and “The Visitor.”
Living on Earth where a disastrous war has broken out, all Roger and Ann Kristen of “The Fox and the Forest” hope for is an escape. Sanity and civilization has given way to death and destruction. Books are burned, thoughts are censored, and the draft for soldiers is inescapable. While Roger works at a bomb factory, Ann works with disease-cultures to provide for weapons for battle as well. When talking with her friend, Ann is informed of Travel in Time Incorporated, a company that brings vacations to another location and time. Hearing this, Ann sees as an opportunity to leave the place that has brought her great pain and misery by going back into time and thinks,” Here is the chance that my husband and I have talked and prayed over for so many years” (117). Despite the fact that the police are keeping a watchful eye on Travel in Time Incorporated, for they are afraid people will run and hide in the past, Roger and Ann Kristen carry do exactly that by carrying out their plan of going back into time and changing their names to William and Susan Travis, with immense hope of never returning from their vacation.
Having survived their rocket crashing into Venus, a lieutenant and his three men from “The Long Rain” are now hoping to seek out a Sun Dome. Traveling in the constant, depressing rain, the group’s sanity becomes lessened. Soon, they reach a figure in the distance only to take a closer look and find out that it is their rocket; they have been going in a circle due to an electrical storm that has struck one crewman with lightning as well as tampered with their compass. Not giving up, the men continue on. However, the effects of the ever-present rain shortly becomes too much for the two remaining crewmen, the last man waiting for the lieutenant to be out of sight before taking his own life. The lieutenant, now all alone, then sees it-the next Sun Dome. Doubtful that it will be properly functioning, the lieutenant stops running towards the Sun Dome. Nevertheless, he starts running again and inevitably reaches the Sun Dome. Anxiously turning the door handle, the lieutenant then “was looking at the sun. It hung in the center of the room, large and yellow and warm” (65). Though faced with the loss of his men, the ills of the long rain, the lieutenant continued to hold high hopes which resulted in him finding sun on Venus where it never stops raining.
Having the incurable “blood rust,” Saul Williams has been quarantined on Mars for quite some time and is lonely with the hopes for someone that can carry on an intellectual discussion. Knowing that he will die within a year, and growing weaker every day, Saul becomes depressed. Wanting to put an end to his pain, Saul tries to kill himself by deliberately trying to not wake up from his sleep. However, waking up an hour later with a mouth full of blood, Saul then sees another man in the distance. Walking over to him, Saul complains of his loneliness only to get an inattentive response from the seriously ill man. Disappointed to find out that the man cannot alleviate his loneliness by speaking with some intellect, Saul tells the man, “I wish to God you could at least talk. Why is it that intellectuals never get the blood rust and come up here?” (129). Yet, when a man named Leonard Mark appears on Mars, he is not enough to satisfactorily fulfill Saul’s hopes, only ending in more melancholy.