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FREE BOOKNOTES SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
Bradbury's early commentary on books further reveals the nature of youth and boyhood. The text asks the reader to recall a time when books held a world of adventure not possible for the average person. Jim's love for all things related to adventure, espionage, intrigue, and crime is reflected in his literary choices. However, as Jim breathes these stories to Will, Will inhales Jim's passions. This furthers the contrast of the boys - indicating that Jim is the leader, and Will is the follower. The difference is only furthered when Charles suggests Jim wears a black-hat, and Will wears a white-hat. Charles' idea that black-hats symbolize all things connected to evil, and white-hats appear to be the opposite allows readers to see a good versus evil theme developing. It is strongly hinted that though Charles himself wears a white-hat, he once held many of the same attitudes and ideas that Jim does.
The idea that the boys run everywhere they go continues the theme of innocence and youth. Bradbury suggests that their style of running isn't a race, it is simply for pleasure - an indulgence they boys always hope to have.
Charles William Halloway is only the second adult we've met in the novel. He, like most of the other adult characters in the text, envies the boys for their youth. He also regards his age as a handicap, a theme that will continue through the novel. The fact that Will wakes up during the night and sees his father's lights on at the library indicates that Charles spends large amounts of time alone dealing with his regrets.
The music Jim hears as they reach the library door foreshadows the evil
that will come in future chapters. The fact that Will can't hear the music
highlights the continuing difference between the boys.
As the boys leave the library, Charles feels a bit of resentment for his age and wishes he had the ability and the youth to run with the boys. As he thinks of them, he contemplates why the boys run. Will seems to run for the sake of running. Jim runs because there's something ahead of him that he desires to catch. At any rate, Charles notices that the boys run, awkwardly, together. Charles further considers the differences between Jim and Will. Charles suggests that Jim "eats darkness," while Will is light and goodness itself. He mediates on the fact that while Will might wonder why he gets hurt, Jim runs and ducks from the thing that hurt him because he knows, inevitably, something dangerous will come for him. Charles' further internal discussion of the boys reveals that Jim runs slower to keep Will with him. Will runs faster to keep up with Jim.
After Charles locks up the library, he stops by the saloon for a drink.
He hears a fellow patron discussing the idea that alcohol is the elixir
of life. When the bartender asks Charles if he wants something, Charles
suggests the drink is not for him, but for the child inside him.
This chapter essentially defines the thematic differences between Jim and Will. Charles' thoughts give words to the allusions about the boys, their attitudes, and their actions the text has already made. This chapter furthers the theme of good versus evil, and how the boys fit with that theme by proposing that Jim's darkness and Will's light makes them very different people who seem to fit together somehow.
Chapter three also distances the theme of lost youth. Charles has known people like Will and Jim throughout his life. He instinctively knows their wants and needs. He also knows that his own youth is gone, and he deeply regrets that fact.
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Matter, Mindy. "TheBestNotes on Something Wicked This Way Comes".
. 09 May 2017