A Sound of Thunder

“I’m innocent. I’ve done nothing!” said Eckels.

In A Sound of Thunder, a major theme written by  Ray Bradbury is that even a small change in the past could make a big impact on the world in the future.


In the story, something as forgettable as killing a small butterfly in the past, could make a significant change in the future such as switching the president position of the United states. In the scene where Eckels said “No, it can’t be, not a little thing like that…Not a butterfly!” (Bradbury 236). is when he realized that he had stepped on a butterfly and something could change in the future. Then Eckels asked a man about who won the president election results and he answered, “You joking? You know very well. Deutscher of course… not that fool weakling Keith” (Bradbury 236). Even though Keith won the election. The president of the United States changed from Keith to Deutscher just by a step of a butterfly in the past. This shows that even the death of a small butterfly could change the position of the president. The theme of a small change could do a lot can also be seen later in the story where Travis (the head of the safari team) has told Eckels about the effects of stepping on a mouse.


Travis and the safari team knew that these small impacts could make colossal changes. Travis kept on emphasizing to not step off the path: “We don’t want to change the future. We don’t belong here in the past…Stay on the path, never step off!” (170). And also when he tells about the impacts of stepping on a mouse, “Step on a mouse and you crush the pyramids, step on a mouse Queen Elizabeth might never be born, step on a mouse and there might never be a United States” (227). This proves that there are a lot of terror impacts if a mouse was killed in the past.


Ray Bradbury tells a theme of changing something in the past can cause a gigantic impact in the future. In the story it showed that killing a butterfly could change the position of the president and also tells about the effects of stepping on a mouse.