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Another Fine Mess by Ray Bradbury: Critical Analysis

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Another Fine Mess is a short story written by Ray Bradbury. In this story two old females, Bella and Zelda are seeking for love. These women were confronted by a couple of ghosts during the middle of the nights. To whom they showed love and affection which they were deprived of. This is basically the story. However, on a closer observation, you can understand how Ray Bradbury has used the doppleganging ghosts to reveal the attribute of both protagonists named Bella and Zelda.

The story began with Bella hearing strange sound from her apartment near Effie Street in Los Angeles. Ray Bradbury describes it as “old house on an old street with an old staircase”. By using the word old couple of times, he draws attention to the fact that Bella is an old lady. Notice here how Ray explains that Bella is at start of her old age as he says “lived there now for only a few days, so it was all new to her”. Moreover, Bella expresses her feeling of being less appreciated at this age by saying “So what can happen at night to a woman fifty-five, fat and ugly?”

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Then she moves to the rim of the hill, where she could hear two men with a huge object. The voices seemed familiar to her as she whispered “I know them from somewhere”. She then moved down the stairs and heard two ghosts yelling at each other and one said to the other: “Here’s another fine mess you’ve got us in”. After hearing this Bella froze. She realized she had heard this sentence before. Pay careful attention to: “Suddenly she was very cold”, here by using the word cold Ray Bradbury is trying to explain the presence of a supernatural entity. She was transfixed by what she heard and got flashback of her childhood. This reminded her of Zelda, Bella’s childhood best friend. All she could do is call Zelda as both u went to watch plays when they were children. Bella told Zelda how she could relate the voices to “Laurel and Hardy”; characters of some play they watched back in the old days. Hearing this, Zelda showed up in about half an hour. Bradbury again reminds us of the fact that Bella and Zelda are old and not loved by stating this: “old hill near the old steps in old Hollywood”. Zelda first thought Bella has gone nuts until she heard the same exasperated voice: “Here’s another mess you’ve got us in.”.

Ray Bradbury uses these two spirits as doppelgangers to uncover the feelings of Bella and Zelda, who were looking for love. When Zelda was thinking why are these ghosts here, she said: “Love maybe the reason, lost loves or something?”. Pay careful attention to the word lost loves which clearly shows what Zelda and Bella were up to. Furthermore, Bella said “Maybe nobody told them” she then adds: “Or maybe they were told a lot but still didn’t believe, because maybe in their old years things got bad, I mean they were sick, and times when you are sick you forget”. This explains Bella has clearly been there and can sense and feel the pain of being old, useless and probably forgotten. Actually, the doppelgangers were spirits with attributes of their favorite figures of Laurel and Hardy because Zelda says “we have known you forever, or since we were kids. We have loved you ever since you were in the desert or on the boat with ghosts trying to sell Christmas trees door-to-door or in the traffic where you tore the headlights off cars, and we still love you”. Zelda’s words explicitly demonstrate the joyful character these ghosts resemble for Bella and Zelda. So, they gave love to typically the ghosts so that the ghosts may be in peace and get the love they wanted and deserved. Bradbury uses “yelling, tripping, shouting, warning the Fates, crying out to gods” to describe ghosts’ feelings for the two women who were: “hearing, feeling, shouting, crying themselves”. When the ghosts were about to leave Zelda shouted in panic “don’t go forever” this actually implies that both Bella and Zelda will want to give them some love.

To conclude, Ray Bradbury tried to show that the two women want love from people around them. The fact that they needed love was demonstrated with the help of doppelgangers. By showing love to those spirits they have shown how badly they wanted love and affection.

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Another Fine Mess by Ray Bradbury: Critical Analysis. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 5, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/another-fine-mess-by-ray-bradbury-critical-analysis/
“Another Fine Mess by Ray Bradbury: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/another-fine-mess-by-ray-bradbury-critical-analysis/
Another Fine Mess by Ray Bradbury: Critical Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/another-fine-mess-by-ray-bradbury-critical-analysis/> [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
Another Fine Mess by Ray Bradbury: Critical Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Feb 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/another-fine-mess-by-ray-bradbury-critical-analysis/
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