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Zero hour by Ray Bradbury

1. Identify the main theme in the text. Give example

2. What’s the setting?
3. Compare the 2 worlds depicted in the story: The adults and the kids.
4. Complete each of these items:
a. Genre\futuristic elements:
b. Narrative’s point of view:
c. Mayor conflict:
d. Climax:
5. What metaphor can be founded in the character of Drill?
6. How ominous is it when Mink says “it’s a matter of life and death?

1. I think the main theme in Zero hour is innocence. Personally, I found 2 types of innocence.
The kids’ innocence, as they think everything is a game (an example could be found at the
end of the text, when after the trial of invasion Mink says “Peeakaboo”, and I understood
this as she was thinking that the “game” was going on) and also the parents’ innocence, as
they think children are always playing and using their imaginations (we can see this when
Mink told Mrs Morris about the Invasion game and she laughed). Other theme could be
manipulation, as the manipulation to the kids is clearly seen throughout the story.

2. The story is set in the outskirts of New York around the 1980’s (still, the story was written
in 1947)

3. Kids: They are innocent and they use their imagination. They are always thinking of games
and of themselves. They play all day and want things in a hurry in order to have more time
to play(for example, Mink is just worried about having time to play invasion). As they don’t
have many experience in life (meaning, there are some things that the can’t understands
because of their innocence) they are easily manipulated.
Adults: they always\most of the time take things seriously, and they forget to use their
imaginations (in the story, the kids+9 can’t play, as they already take things more seriously
and can’t be manipulated). They are worried about other things besides imagination as
they have bigger responsibilities. In some ways they are more serious, but they take things
not that seriously. Adults think logically and may forget their imagination.

4. a. Science fiction is the genre. Futuristic elements are: vacuum elevators, audio-visor,
electric relaxing chair, rockets, motor skates, the red button in the kitchen, electro duster
b. The narrative’s point of view is 1​st​ p. limited, as we are forced to get into the adults\Mrs.
Morris point of view. The narrator is separated form the main character but stays
close to the facts.
c. The characters are:
Mink: she is 7 years old. She likes games and loves the Invasion game. She tells most things
to her mom but her mom just laughs,
Mary Morris: She’s Mink’s mom. She didn’t take the game seriously but she did at the end.
We see her point of view throughout the story.
Drill: He’s an alien from an unknown place and tries to manipulate the kids in order to
invade the world
Other characters are Mr. Morris (Mink’s dad), Helen (Mary’s friend from Scranton), Anna
(Mink’s friend), Joseph Connor and Peggy Anne.
d. Aliens want to invade the Earth and in order to do this they manipulate the kids.
e. The climax is in Zero hour, the time for the invasion, when Mrs Morris realizes what
was going to happen.

5. We could think of Drill as a predator that interact directly with kids as they are easily
manipulated because of their innocence and because they don’t know about the bad
things that can happen with unknown people. Drill could be representing the dangerous
people around kids and the importance of realizing fast enough. Drill wants to manipulate
the unsupervised innocent kids, such as predators and other manipulative people.

6. It is ominous as it overtakes the fact that something bad could happen. The invasion would
mean a big quantity of deaths and the fact that Mink compares the game with life or death
advances the idea of the invasion for the readers. The phrase Mink used could be an alert
of what was going to happen, an alert to the Zero hour.