This study guide will help you analyze the text “I See You Never” by Ray Bradbury. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American author who gained fame because of his novels and stories in the science-fiction, fantasy or horror genres. His most notable literary works are the novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. “I See You Never” was published in The New Yorker in 1947.
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Mrs. Ramirez’s kitchen with the pies in the oven symbolizes an inaccessible but desired place, which exerts a magnetic pull on outsiders. Both Mr. Ramirez and the policemen are drawn to it: “The policemen leaned forward, lured by the odor” (p. 108, ll. 43-45). However, neither Mr. Ramirez nor the policemen are invited inside. The kitchen is also symbolic of America, the place where Mr. Ramirez has enjoyed living but is now denied access to.
The dinner is another important symbol. Twice in the story, one of Mrs. O’Brian’s sons calls out to her that dinner is getting cold, and she should hurry and eat it (p. 109, ll. 11-12; p. 110, ll. 3-4). This is meant to highlight that the dinner is something which Mrs. O’Brian has a full right to eat, and the people around her are reminding her of it. This symbolizes her privilege as a resident with full rights. From this perspective, her action of pausing during dinner, only to stare at the closed door and put down her knife and fork would signal her ...