Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American fantasy and horror author who did not want to be called a science fiction author. He said that his work was supported by fantasy and things that are unreal. He was also a screenwriter and a poet. Ray’s life was very interesting. His youth and career were like no other and had some biblical components throughout them although he did not consider himself a Christian.
On August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, Leonard Spalding Bradbury, and Ester Moberg Bradbury had their fourth child, Raymond Douglas Bradbury. Leonard Bradbury was a lineman for an electrical company, so he was gone from home for a major portion of Ray’s home life. Because there was no father figure for much time in his life he had to start a hobby to pass time. Ray developed a passion for reading books, especially from his favorite authors, Edgar Allen Poe and L. Frank Baum. When Ray was about 12 years old, his love books were so great, that he decided he wanted to become a writer when he grew up. His father’s job began to be unstable, so they had to pack up and begin living in Los Angeles, California in 1934. His love for books and fiction was so significant, that he decided he wanted to be in his school’s drama club. He began to admire magicians, fantasy fiction, and movies. Ray and his brother loved to go to the movies. They snuck into the movie theater about nine times each week to watch movies. One day at school, his English teacher found out that he loved to read and write, so she and other befriended professional writers persuaded him to start a routine on a daily basis. This routine consisted of Ray typing 1000 words on his typewriter daily.
When Ray graduated from the Los Angeles High School, he realized he did not have enough money to pay for college, but this did not stop him from reaching his goals. Ray began to teach himself at the local library. He visited the library three days a week for ten years. Because of Ray’s lack of money, he began to sell newspapers so he could support himself while he was writing. By November of 1941, Ray Bradbury had sold his first professional piece.
This story was called “Pendulum.” He quickly grew off of this accomplishment. In 1943, Ray began to be a full-time writer. Dark Carnival, his first collection of short stories, was published in 1947. Also in 1947, Ray had his first major success with his short story “Homecoming.” This short story was narrated by a boy who feels like an outsider at a family reunion of witches, vampires and werewolves because he lacks supernatural powers. Soon after his achievement, he married his beloved wife, Marguerite Susan McClunk. Ray and Marguerite had four daughters. Suan was the oldest child, Romona and Bettina were the middle children, and Alexandra was the youngest.
Ray published his first major piece, The Martian Chronicles, in 1950. The Martian Chronicles was made up of 26 different short stories. This piece was about humans colonizing the red planet and the native Martians. Many people categorized this piece as science fiction, but Ray considered it fantasy. Three years later in 1953, Ray published his best-known book, Fahrenheit 451. This book became an instant classic during this time. He wrote for numerous hours each day which made him able to publish many books and short stories. Throughout his writing career, he published more than 30 books, about 600 short stories, poems, and essays. Ray also wrote many screenplays. One screenplay he wrote was the 1956 take of Moby Dick. He made his own television series on HBO, until 1992. Bradbury was so successful, that he got many awards. Ray received the National Medal of Arts during 2004. This award was the highest honor for artists. Ray had many awards that he loved, but there was one in particular that he loved the most. This award was from the United States Pavillion, naming him an “ideas consultant” in 1964.
Ray did not consider himself as a Christian, but many of his books had biblical components hidden in them. His most known book, Fahrenheit 451, has at least three components that can be found in it. One biblical component is “The Sieve and the Sand.” “The Sieve and the Sand” is the title of the second section of Fahrenheit 451. The title refers to Montag’s childhood memory of trying to fill a sieve with sand. While he is in the subway, he is trying to memorise a bible verse, and a commercial on the television started his flashback. To Montag, the sand represents the knowledge that he seeks something of material importance and the sieve represents his mind trying to grasp and retain this knowledge. This component references the dispute God and Satan had in the book of Job. The second biblical component is fire and water. Although fire is the main symbol in this novel, water comes into the conflicts several times. One of the times is the comparison that Faber makes to Montag, trying to convince him to act as a double-agent in the firehouse. Montag plus Faber equals fire plus water. This references directly to Jesus’s first miracle, where he turns water into wine. The third biblical component is “everything is meaningless.” This component comes directly out of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes 1 was talking about how everything is meaningless without God, and this really dug deep into Montag. He really reflected on this chapter and verse throughout the book.
Ray kept writing into his 80s, where one of his daughters had to interpret what he was saying and put his words onto paper. In 2007, Bradbury received a special citation from the Pulitzer board for his ‘distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.’ Raymond Douglas Bradbury, 91 years old, died on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in his Los Angeles home. Ray died from an undisclosed long-term illness.
Ray Baradbury was truly an amazing and talented author, screenwriter and poet. He won so many awards, but he stayed humble about them. This really shows who he is as a person. He was a loving Husband and father. Ray had so many successes throughout his career and life. Though he did not recognise himself as a christian, he had all the qualities and showed them in his everyday life.