"The Smile" by Ray Bradbury

Literary Focus: Irony

About the Book

"The Smile" is set in the future after warfare has destroyed nearly all traces of civilization. Cities have been reduced to junk piles and cornfields glow with radioactivity at night. The survivors of this warfare wear soiled gunnysack clothing. Their homes are caves and other semi-dwellings that can give them even a measure of protection from the icy weather. Their spirits are as cold as the winter weather because they are filled with hatred for the past; the past has caused their present to be miserable and deplorable.


In this society where beauty is nonexistent and where only hatred and destruction remain, the young boy Tom stands in a queue, waiting his turn to view "the smile".

What to do while you read

1. Determine the purpose or theme of the story.

2. Annotate the story for Irony (situational, verbal, dramatic) on Google Documents for Notability.



**Make sure you are also implementing the skills you have learned so far, such as analyzing plot, characterization, perspective, conflict, etc.

If you want to annotate in Notability

1. Open the story in the Google Drive/Docs App

2. Click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner

3. Click Share and Export

4. Click Send a Copy

5. Choose PDF

6. Open in Notability