Literary Writing Style of Ray Bradbury

The writing style of Ray Bradbury is highly descriptive in almost all of his novels and stories. That is why he is unique in using words, syntax, rhythm, figures of speech, rhetoric, and even themes. However, it is interesting to note that he himself calls style “truth”, adding everything that counts, such as fears, emotions, feelings, and sensations, to become your style. Some of the best features of his style are as follows.

Ray Bradbury’s Word Choice

Ray Bradbury is highly cautious in using his words or diction. His word choice reflects his philosophy of using objective language and still inserting personal points of view in writing. Some of his words demonstrate his skill in using a multiplicity of meanings. It is because he states that he wants to show the truth that is his style and his words support this style. This passage from his novel, Fahrenheit 451, shows this feature of his writing. It shows how he uses different words in formal diction to convey intended meanings to his readers and audience.

“He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel
man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still
gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that. smile, it never ever
went away, as long as he remembered.”

Ray Bradbury’s Sentence Structure and Syntax

Ray Bradbury’s sentence style is a mixture of short and long sentences as well as long and short clauses. Like his word choice, he is also very choosey in sentences. In grammar, he uses punctuation at appropriate times with adverbs and verbs. However, when it comes to using complex and simple sentences, he is matchless. He uses a combination of all these sentences to support his style that, according to him, is also a truth. His novel, Fahrenheit 451, shows the commitment of Bradbury to show the truth as given in this passage.

There was only the girl walking with him now, her face bright as snow in the moonlight,
and he knew she was working his questions around, seeking the best answers she could
possibly give.
“Well,” she said, “I’m seventeen and I’m crazy. My uncle says the two always go
together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane. Isn’t this
a nice time of night to walk? I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes
stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise.

Ray Bradbury’s Figurative Language

Bradbury’s most popular use is of symbols and personifications. Despite his commitment to using objective language, he heavily leans in favor of similes and metaphors. That is why it seems that he paints a realistic picture of his characters, yet he does not avoid using similes. This passage of Fahrenheit 451 shows this fact in about Montag and the girl.

Montag shook his head. He looked at a blank wall. The girl’s face was there, really quite
beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact. She had a very thin face like the dial of a small
clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the
time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white
silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it has to tell of the night passing
swiftly on toward further darknesses but moving also toward a new sun.

Ray Bradbury’s Rhythm and Component Sounds

The rhythm of Ray Bradbury lies in using sounds at different intervals following the use of different types of sentences. His commitment to showing the truth through words, sentences, and paragraphs supports this rhythm. Sometimes he uses very short sentences and, at other times, somewhat longer ones to support the main assumptions. However, in terms of sounds, he is matchless. He uses short syllable words with alliterations at work. This passage from Fahrenheit 451 shows his style of using rhythmic language with the support of the sounds such as the alliteration of /sh/ as well as the type of exclamatory and interrogative sentences.

What incredible power of identification the girl had; she was like the eager watcher of a
marionette show, anticipating each flicker of an eyelid, each gesture of his hand, each
flick of a finger, the moment before it began. How long had they walked together? Three
minutes? Five? Yet how large that time seemed now. How immense a figure she was on
the stage before him; what a shadow she threw on the wall with her slender body! He
felt that if his eye itched, she might blink. And if the muscles of his jaws stretched
imperceptibly, she would yawn long before he would.

Ray Bradbury’s Rhetorical Patterns

The excellence of their rhetoric Bradbury lies in his definition of his style involving objectivity. Yet, objectivity is quite an elusive concept as nobody can claim it without having shed off their cultural baggage. In rhetorical patterns, he feels comfortable in descriptive and narrative writings but in terms of using different strategies, he uses anaphoras and repetitions excessively to lend support to his pathos and ethos in his writings. His own pedagogic writing career supports his argument about his rhetoric. This passage from his novel Fahrenheit 451 shows this.

Without turning on the light he imagined how this room would look. His wife stretched
on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of a tomb, her eyes
fixed to the ceiling by invisible threads of steel, immovable. And in her ears the little
Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music
and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.
The room was indeed empty. Every night the waves came in and bore her off on their
great tides of sound, floating her, wide-eyed, toward morning. There had been no night
in the last two years that Mildred had not swum that sea, had not gladly gone down in it
for the third time.

Ray Bradbury’s Themes

Ray Bradbury has a variety of issues at his disposal to explore in his writings. His themes vary from death to self, dissatisfaction to reality and evil to goodness. However, the major point of all the explorations of these desires is to have self-knowledge about reality. Besides these, he also touches upon individuality, subjectivity, objectivity, sufferings, freedom,  technology, and its attendant impacts.