Summary and Analysis: The October Country The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone””

This story is neither a tale of horror nor of the macabre. Perhaps the only element it has in common with the other stories contained in The October Country is the paradoxical treatment that Bradbury gives Dudley Stone’s so-called “death.”

Throughout the story, Dudley Stone is described in images of light to parallel his greatness in the literary arena. When Mr. Douglas first meets Stone, the writer looks like “Michelangelo’s God creating Adam.” His face is “ablaze with life,” and a great golden watch hangs from his vest on a bright chain. His wife is like “the sun in the East,” so bright that her face lights up their table at dinner. Stone’s name on the spines of numerous books in his library blazes “like a panther’s eye in the Moroccan blackness.” Diametrically opposite to Stone is Kendall, whose literary success is compared to a train’s caboose that “went out on a dark siding behind a tin bailing-shed at midnight.”

Paradoxically, Stone’s “death” is indeed wonderful. His successful career in writing may have been terminated, but he is more successful than many men; he has discovered real joy in simply being alive. Consequently, images of brightness continue to describe him: He roars off to a “suddenly brilliant town called Obscurity by a dazzling shore called The Past.”