Categorized In

“The Fog Horn”

Bradbury, Ray |


In this  famous story (“The Fog Horn”) two men shiver in a lighthouse on a cold November evening with mist heavy enough that they have set the fog horn to blow every fifteen seconds.  They are discussing the mysteries of the sea, and the voice of the foghorn calling to the sea—the foghorn which makes a sound so lonesome that “whoever hears it will weep in their souls,” because now they know “the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.” As the men talk, a creature’s head surfaces in the sea just within range of their light, and then the neck emerges and more neck and still more till forty feet of neck tower up, tall as the lighthouse itself, and the creature’s great lantern eyes turn to the top of the lighthouse and begin to reflect its light.  The eyes of the monster with the light flashing back from them become disks “sending a message in primeval code.”  The dinosaurs died out a million years ago, but here’s one now rising from the deeps where it had sequestered itself, rising to the sight of the light and the sound of the horn.  It seems to recognize the light house as a lost love—the light house with its 40-foot neck and shining light and mournful call.  “The fog horn blew and the monster answered.  [Its] cry came across a million years of water and mist.  A cry so anguished and alone that it made [the two men] shudder.  The fog horn blew.  The monster cried again.  The fog horn blew.  The monster opened its great toothed mouth and the sound that came from it was the sound of the fog horn itself.  Lonely and vast and far away.  It was the sound of one who had waited a million years for the voice of the lighthouse to call [it home].”