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The consequences of time travel cannot be matched in terms of unpredictability because any tiny alterations to the distant past can change the outcome of the ensuing events of the future. In the futuristic tale, “A Sound of Thunder,” by Ray Bradbury, the standard way of life in the present time is subtly altered when an ambitious hunter named Eckels travels back in time to hunt a prehistoric animal. When Eckels is confronted by the frightening Tyrannosaurus rex, he panics and ignores the rules of the guide, falling off the established path.
In the heat of the moment, he accidentally steps on a butterfly causing a chain reaction that creates various realignments of society in the contemporary era. Firstly, the essence of society is transformed from good to evil. Before departure, the man behind the desk was against the beliefs of Deutscher and was supportive of Keith.
On his return, Eckels notices a slight difference in the demeanor of the man behind the desk; he is now firmly supportive of Deutscher and considers Keith a weakling.
He laughs and says, “You joking? You know very well. Deutscher, of course! Who else? Not that fool weakling Keith. We got an iron man now, a man with guts!” This quote infers that society has drastically changed from the time Eckels departed for the safari to his return on the following day. Second of all, Lesperance does a reconnaissance to select certain targets for the hunters, his mandate being to identify animals that were going to die on the particular day of the hunt anyways.
“I track them through their entire existence, noting which of them lives longest… When I find one that’s going to die when a tree falls on him, or one that drowns in a tar pit, I note the exact hour, minute, and second. I shoot a paint bomb…
This way, we kill only animals with no future, that are never going to mate again.” This illustrates how conscientious the company is about the effects of time travel and altering the history of the world. Finally, on Eckels return, his senses detect subtle changes in the atmosphere and his surroundings. Most of all, his eyes see the change in the English language. The sign above the desk was in a phonetic form, and he immediately realizes the intellect of the human race had deteriorated. “But the immediate thing was the sign painted on the office wall, the same sign he had read earlier today on first entering.
Somehow, the sign had changed.” This shows that the slightest, simple, accidental modification of history can have apocalyptic consequences for modern civilization. In conclusion, Eckels’ meandering in the forest 60 million years ago, creates a society with less righteousness, responsibility, and human intellect.
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