Imagine going back in time and accidentally kill a mouse, would the future remain the same? Or will the ecosystem die because of one dead animal? During times of great caution, it is very important to follow directions and exercise caution no matter what the situation is because even little mistakes can be harmful to not only yourself but many others around you. An example of someone not doing this is in A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, when the main character ignored instructions and made a mistake that ended up affecting many things.
The safari company wants all their customers to follow directions because one small mistake could greatly affect the future. After they arrived in their time destination the hunt leaders constantly say,”’ Stay on the path. Stay on the path’” (Bradbury 8). He says this because there are many consequences as to even step on a blade of grass or kill a mouse “could start an earthquake, the effects of which could shake our earth and destinies down through time to their very foundations” (Bradbury 5). But disregarding all that, when the protagonist, Eckels, saw the tyrannosaurus rex “walked blindly to the edge of the path…stepped off the path, and walked” (Bradbury 10). Countless times the Time Safari company reminded, that “’Anything happens to you, we’re not responsible’” (Bradbury 3), and also clearly stated, “’ Six safari members were killed last year, and a dozen hunters’” (Bradbury 3). This shows the importance of the event, making it even more important to follow directions because it could get him killed. The theme of following instructions can also be seen later on in the story after Eckels goes off the path and creates more problems for the team.
Because Eckels chose to not follow instructions and try to get to safety by going off the path, but Eckels actually endangered his team and the future. Disobeying the directions 66 million years back on a hunt to kill the apex predator of the time was a bad choice for Eckels. Stepping off the path was a very bad thing because 1 one mistake accidentally killing a small thing could come back at them and change the future. And after constant reminders about the potential consequences that could happen from stepping off the path. The leader even said,” ‘you’re not coming back in the Machine, We’re leaving you here!” (Bradbury 11). Because first of all, he left his team to fend off a tyrannosaurus rex by themselves, and second of all he went off the path which could lead to endless possibilities and endless consequences depending on what he did or stepped on while he was off the path, therefore even more so endangering the entire future. This clearly shows how much danger he put his in danger when he left his crew to fight off the massive dinosaur and walked off the path, that is also bad because stepping on a mouse and “’what about the foxes that’ll need those mice to survive?…infinite billions of life forms are thrown into chaos and destruction.’” (Bradbury 5). And despite all, he stepped on a butterfly and the entire future changed because of one irresponsible selfish mistake.
Therefore, learn from Eckels mistakes, and don’t ignore instructions during dire situations because, for him, a single butterfly changed the entire future.
How to Spot—And Protect—Trees from Lightning. 19 July 2016.