A Brief Analysis of Ray Bradbury's "Remember Sascha?"
Ray Bradbury, a popular fiction writer from the eighties and nineties, is renowned for his magical and witty writing style. Some of his popular works of fiction are “Fahrenheit 451”, “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, and “Quicker Than the Eye” (an anthology of short stories). Bradbury focuses his creativity on the surreal aspects of life in his short story, “Remember Sascha?”. This story illustrates the unique connection between a young married couple and an entity called Sascha. Maggie and Douglas Spaulding live in a two room apartment in Venice, California where they relish in their blissful relationship. They both share a willingness for spontaneity that gives their relationship an air of elation. Seventeen months after their marriage, Sascha claims their attention in the early hours of the morning to divulge his feelings and thoughts. Sascha changes their lives forever as the couple grows accustomed to his presence. Bradbury’s characters in “Remember Sascha?” have remarkable lives that will spark the interest of any creative writer.
Hold on Loosely
Ray Bradbury has a unique writing style that verges on impulsive. His creativity unravels as he jumps from one thought to the next in quick movements. An example of his hurried writing is displayed in this excerpt from the story:
Their routine was: she would arrive home each night from downtown Los Angeles and he would have hamburgers waiting of they would walk down the beach to eat hot dogs, spend ten or twenty cents in the Penny Arcade, go home, make love, go to sleep, and repeat the whole wondrous routine the next night: hot dogs, Penny Arcade, love sleep, work etc. It was all glorious in that year of being very young and in love; therefore it would go on forever… (28)
Despite his sporadic sentences, Bradbury knows how to turn a phrase. His style appeals to the “loose” audience, or one that can appreciate raw thought. In every story residing in his anthology Bradbury uses a similar thought structure. In short, Ray’s ability to express his thoughts through loose structure and detail, and still be able to capture his readers, is amazing.
When Sascha presents himself in the lives of Maggie and Douglas, he takes on a very prominent role not unlike that of a child. It’s as if Sascha existed all along, and was using the baby to communicate with the couple. Not to say that he was an intruder, but just a part of the baby himself that chose to speak up. He doesn’t appear until Maggie becomes pregnant, leading the reader to believe that Maggie and Douglas are inventing the entity as a kind of game. However, from a philosophical standpoint, Sascha seems like more than just a made up game. He takes on a physicality that revolves around the couple’s and the baby’s life and makes him seem very real. In the wee hours of the night, Sascha appears and carries on conversations with the couple and as the baby grows, Sascha becomes stronger. Their conversations range from discussing the birthdate of the baby to cravings that accompany the pregnancy. Douglas states early in the story, once he finds out that Maggie is pregnant, that the name Sascha has been with him for over a year; lingering in the back of his mind. Maggie and Douglas exchange thoughts over the name Sascha here:
“‘Well don’t tell me Sascha is back?’
‘Sascha! Who’s that?’
‘When arrives, he’ll tell us.’
‘Where did that name come from?’
‘Don’t know. It’s been in my mind all year.’” (Bradbury 28)
A deep thinker may argue that it’s no coincidence that just as Douglas gives a name to the entity, or accepts his presence, it’s able to communicate.
This story presents a mystical anomaly through creative fiction. Bradbury attracts readers that aren’t deterred by new thinking. Yet, he writes in a way that can be enjoyed by almost any reader. His works aren’t pretentious or intimidating which makes him such a fantastic writer. His stories tend to make the reader take a step back in their own lives and evaluate the magic. Ray understood that magic can be found in the darkest places and he played on implications of mysticism. All in all, Bradbury is a memorable writer worthy of praise.
Bradbury, Ray. "Remember Sascha?" Quicker Than the Eye. New York: Harper Collins, 1996. 19-31. Print.