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Suppose for a moment that you live in a world orbited by six suns, at
least one of which is always shining, except for one night of total eclipse
every two millennia. This means that it is constantly bright there, as there
are always at least two suns in the sky overhead. The people have never
experienced night, and they are afraid of the dark. As this forecasted night
approaches, scientists begin to think that the psychological effects of utter
darkness may explain the fact that civilization on this world is cyclical and
must start again from scratch every two thousand years. Finally, darkness
falls. But it is not the darkness that deranges everyone; it is the thousands
of suddenly and overwhelmingly visible stars. This is the premise for
"Nightfall", a story written by Isaac Asimov in 1938 which has been voted
the best science fiction short story of all time. Nightfall has some key
elements of what makes a short story. It has characters and a dialogue
which creates the realism and clues of what is happening in the story,
which contribute to the development of the story.
The main characters are all intellectuals. The characters are:
Sheerin 501, a psychologist specializing in disorders related to the
psychosis that darkness inflicts. Beenay 25 is an astronomer, working with
Dr. Aton 77, and friend to journalist Theremon 762. Together with
archeologist Siferra 89, they work together as the story progresses. All
three characters are not developed rather they are revealed because they
represent two different perspectives of the idea of the end of the world. The
characters of Sheerin 501 and Dr. Aton 77 represent the true scientists
believers of the end of the world. On the other hand the character of
Theremon 762 represents the typical skeptic who at the end of the story
also ends up believing that the world is ending. Theremon wants to get to
the bottom of the story, he wants to k...

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Nightfall. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:32, October 07, 2015, from