Imagine being sent back in time and explore the past. To travel back to where only dinosaurs existed and lived on earth.
In the short story “A sound of Thunder” written by Ray Bradbury in 1952, time-travel becomes possible, when the main character, Eckels, decides to go back in time.
But if you traveled back in time, would your interactions with the people, places, and things during that time period affect the present day?
Bradbury explores the consequences of human actions in the nature and how scientific discoveries can end up with a dangerous future.
In the rising action of the story we meet the safari leader, Travis and the two hunters Billings and Kramer.
The hunters are explained two very important rules before departure: They are not allowed to step off the path and they are not allowed to shoot animals they are not told to. If they break the rules, it will have consequences.
They travel sixty million years back into the past, and here Eckles begins to be curios why they are not allowed to shoot other animals. Travis explains:
“The step of your foot, on one mouse, could start a series of events, the effects of which could shake our earth and future down through Time” (p.4, l. 95-96).
Their discussion refers to the butterfly effect, where one single action can have an impact on the history of mankind and nature.
Travis clearly has respect for the nature and the history, so it is very important to him, that nobody breaks the rules, while Eckels doesn’t really seem to care about the consequences.