The Smile by Ray Bradbury

bookshelves: spring-2015, radio-4x, published-1991, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, under-50-ratings, sci-fi, lit-richer

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read on April 22, 2015…

Description: 4 Extra Debut. In a post-apocalyptic city, any semblance of past beauty is viewed with derision. Read by Peter Whitman.

I found a better synopsis: The main character of this story is Tom, a little boy who joins a group of people who are quering in front of a museum to spit on an oil painting belonging to the past, called the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci. People live a hard, difficult life and hate every aspect of the past of the past civilization which caused the nuclear war to break out destroyed their lawful haritage of progress and welfare. Tom is curious and he is quering up to see the portrait because they say it smiles. Tom likes going to festivals where remnants of the past are destroyed, concerning art, science, culture, and technology, but he is not so enraged with hate as the others are. When Tom sees the painting he finds the woman beautiful and he cannot take his eyes away from her smile. Suddenly, the people start destroying the painting and rip it into small pieces of canvas, behaving in a beastly, violent and wild manner. Tom gets a piece of canvas: the Mona Lisa’s smile to preserve it from destruction. It was beautiful, warm and gentle and it produced in Tom feelings of affection, beauty and quietness. The smile is personified because it’s the only expression of humanity in Tom’s life. Source

Almost prophetic in nature – isn’t the destruction of the past exactly what those terrorists are doing today?

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