The Martian Chronicles (Isolation And Insignifican Essay, Research Paper
Humans are tiny particles of dust in a great ocean of time and space. But have you ever thought about how insignificant humans really are, in such a vast and bounteous universe? Just the thought of it can make an individual feel completely isolated. In the novel The Martian Chronicles, author Ray Bradbury uses setting and characterization to show the reader that if science advances too quickly for society, humans will try to ignore their true feelings of isolation and insignificance caused by their premature progress. The result of this ignorance is that humans will end up hurting others and themselves because they will not comprehend what they are actually capable of. The author, Ray Bradbury, uses setting throughout the novel to convey his message that the result of science advancing too quickly is that humans will eventually feel insignificant and isolated in contrast with such an immense universe. The way that the humans felt the need to shape and form Mars to look like Earth shows the reader that humans feel isolated and lost on the strange little planet. In the novel the author uses the example of how the men with hammers in their hands beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness (p. 78). The people of Earth feel that they need to change the ancient planet of Mars, in order to suit them because they feel lost without their familiar surroundings. Without scenery familiar to the eye, the people from Earth can t live on Mars because it makes them feel secluded and cut off from Earth. The author shows the reader that the thing the humans wanted most was Mars grown green and tall with trees and foliage, just like Earth. (p. 73). The character in the novel felt strange and alone, as he was one of the first men to come to Mars. Without planting the trees, to make the red planet of Mars look more like Earth, the character would have been very depressed due to his loneliness and realization that there is more to the universe than just Earth. Since the humans see the planet of Mars and what the Martians had, before they were extinct, the humans realize how petty and insignificant their lives are. A human from Earth searches the planet of Mars and sees many of their buildings, books and sculptures and realizes that what these Martians had was just as good as anything we ll ever hope to have. (p. 64). When the open-minded humans came to the point where they could see how knowledgeable and meaningful the Martian society was, they come to realize how insignificant they are in such a meaningful universe. Setting is crucial in depicting how the Earthlings saw what the Martians had in comparison to Earth and therefore felt insignificant and petty compared to the people of Mars. The author uses characterization of typically evil and ignorant people to convey his message that premature advances in science lead to isolation and the feeling of insignificance. The evil character, Biggs, is used to show how humans must see, hear or do something familiar in order to beat the feeling of isolation. This evil character performed a christening ritual in which Biggs carried six empty bottles and dropped them one by one into the deep blue canal waters (of Mars) I christen thee Biggs, Biggs, Biggs canal (p. 52). This shows that humans must change a strange thing in order to accept it and to overcome their feelings of loneliness. Biggs is also drinking in order to feel good about his so-called accomplishment in science. The evil crew members of the Fourth Expedition are used to show the reader how the crew feels isolated and must try and cope with this feeling. The crew felt so lost in space that they could not do what they were expecting which was to be shouting drunk, firing off guns to show how wonderful they were to have kicked a hole in space and ridden a rocket all the way to Mars. But nobody was yelling. (p. 49). The ignorant crew members tried to push away their feelings of insignificance but couldn t because they felt lost and confused. This feeling of isolation which was caused by their inability to deal with this new advance in science could not be overcome. The author uses the evil character, Sam Parkhill, to show the reader that humans will try to ignore how insignificant and isolated they really are, even by force and by hurting others. While chasing Jeff Spender, a Martian lover who reminds the humans that they killed the Martians, Parkhill yells Hey, you! Here s a slug for your head! (p. 70). The feeling of insignificance that Parkhill and the crew had was based on their arrival in Mars which was a notable scientific advancement that made them realize that they re not the only living beings on the planet and that they are not as great as they thought they were. The immoral character members of the Second Expedition shows the reader that humans cannot face their isolation, so in turn they try to ignore it. This is shown by the crew members smoking cigarettes in order to calm themselves. the Earth men began walking in and out the kitchen door, with nothing to do. Cigarette? said one of the men. Somebody got out a pack and they lit up. (p. 18). This shows the reader that humans would rather be calm and not think about their significance in this universe. It is inevitable that humans must eventually understand their true worth in this universe, but the fact that science prematurely pushes the truth upon them leads to them having no choice but to ignore what science tries to show them because they do not want to accept it.
The author uses characterization of typically humble and wise people to convey his message that if science advances to quickly for society, it will result in the feelings of isolation and insignificance in the humans. The wise character of Captain John Black is used to show that isolation should not be ignored by simply pushing it aside. When the crew of the ship is brainwashed by the Martians into believing that their dead relatives are on the planet Mars, one of the crew members say `Think of how they felt, Captain, seeing familiar faces outside the ship! They had their orders, damn it! , said Captain Black. (p. 42). Captain John Black knows that humans should not push aside their feelings of isolation and insignificance by trying to believe in things that cannot be possible. The Captain believes that the crew should not try to ignore their feelings of isolation, allowing them to be brainwashed by the Martians. The author uses the humble character of Jeff Spender to convey his message that humans should not try to alter Mars in order to avoid their strange loneliness. Spender believed that No matter how we touch Mars, we ll never (really) touch it. And then we ll get mad at it, and you know what we ll do? We ll rip it up, rip the skin off, and change it to fit ourselves. (p. 54). Spender is shown as someone who accepts his isolation and someone who deeply cares about Mars and it s harmony. He also understands that humans should not try to change and mask Mars with Earthly scenery because they will never be able to touch it the same way that the Martians did. The author uses the moral character of Captain Wilder to show the reader that humans should not try to destroy things that they don t understand and things that make them feel uncomfortable. Once the Captain killed Spender, he realized what Spender was fighting for and adopted this personality. The next afternoon Parkhill did some target practice in one of the dead cities (of Mars), shooting out the crystal windows and blowing the tops off of fragile towers. The Captain caught Parkhill and knocked his teeth out. (p. 72). Captain Wilder respected what Spender taught him and looked at the Martians as a great race. He knew that Parkhill was only destroying the Martian city because he was subconsciously jealous of the Martians and felt insignificant compared to their advanced civilization. Therefore, the author uses wise characters to clearly display how the untimely advancement of science will elicit feelings of being lost and unimportant among humans. Ray Bradbury uses characterization of humble and gracious Martians to show the reader his message that the ignorance of humans causes them to feel insignificant compared to far more intellectual and superior beings. The Martian who survived the chicken pox is used to show the reader that humans feel intimidated by those who they believe are greater than them, and this leads to their ignorance. The Martain, who is far more gracious than the human, says `We mean you no harm. But I mean you harm! said Sam (human) backing away. (p. 134). This shows the reader that the human is scared of the Martian, as he back away, and therefore acts irrational out of ignorance. The reader sees how the Martian s humble and gracious ways make the trailer-trash human, Sam Parkhill, feel inferior, thus causing him to react in a defensive manner. The Martian from the past is used to show the reader that humans do not know how to cope with their feeling of insignificance, because it damages their precious pride, so they must ignore the issue by distracting themselves. `There are the rockets see? (said the human) No. (said the Martian) Damnit, there they are! No. Now Thomas laughed. You re blind! (p. 84)By accusing the Martian of being blind the human achieves three things. First, he is trying to redeem his pride by making the Martian feel silly. Second, he is trying to distract himself from the real issue by making fun and laughing, because he cannot deal with his feeling of loneliness and isolation. And third, he is trying to put the Martian in a lower standing and trying to put himself on a pedestal. Thus, the interaction between the Martians and Humans, proves that Humans feel insignificant compared to the apparently more superior race. In the novel The Martian Chronicles, author Ray Bradbury uses setting and characterization to show the reader that a human will try to ignore their feelings of isolation and insignificance which can be caused by science advancing so quickly that the human can t comprehend the extent of their new discoveries. It is inevitable that humans will eventually feel insignificant compared to far more intellectual and superior beings and isolated in contrast to such an immense universe. Humans must eventually accept their true worth in this universe, however unpleasant it may be, for knowledge is always more valuable than ignorance.