Martian Chronicles Essay, Research Paper
The Martian Chronicles, written by Ray Bradbury, is about man’s journey to Mars in 26 loosely connected stories. Each story tells a different perspective of the new frontier and Bradbury’s view on humans. The book begins with Earth facing war and man sending rockets to Mars in search of a new life. After several failed expeditions men finally begins to live on Mars. The Martian race is known either to be extinct or living in the mountains because the chicken pox wiped out most of their population. Man quickly takes over and starts sending more and more people to Mars. Ray Bradbury reveals several ideas that he has about human nature and the human experience.
One idea that Bradbury has about the human experience is that humans have a strong need for family in their lives. In the failure of the third expedition crewmembers are quick to hurry out of the ship to see loved family and friends. Even though the people they see are deceased back on Earth, they are easily convinced that this is a town where the dead are living, “A man doesn’t ask too many questions when his mother is suddenly brought back to life; he’s much too happy”(46). They didn’t think that it could be the Martians playing a trick on them. The captain of the third expedition, John Black, is convinced that he sees his long dead brother Ed, “You’re looking fine, Ed, but, Ed, what is this? You haven’t changed over the years. You died, I remember, when you were twenty-six and I was nineteen. Good God, so many years ago, and here you are and, Lord, What goes on?”(43). Crewmember Hathaway created an artificial family after his real family died of an unknown virus. At dinner he makes a toast, “It’s good to be with friends again. And to my wife and children, without them I couldn’t have survived alone”(162). Displayed clearly is that family is important to humans.
Bradbury also displays human tendency to seek revenge because of the belief that two wrongs make a right. Stendal, in act of revenge builds a house on Mars to get back at the censorship people for the destruction of imaginative things. Stendal tells his plans after the completion of his house to the unseen rockets in the sky, “So I’m going to show you. I’m going to teach you a fine lesson for what you did to Mr. Poe on Earth. As of this day, beware. The house of Usher is open for business!”(106). With that house Stendal kills all the people who were part of the destruction of imaginative things. Stendal and Pikes then destroy the house are pleased with their work, “They looked at the Great House smiling”(118). When the fourth expedition lands on Mars, crewmember Biggs mistreats the land. Spender, another crewmember, takes revenge on Biggs, “I’m the last Martian. I’m going to kill you. Stand up and take it in the stomach”(58).