Literature Analysis Paper on The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles is a fictional story written by Ray Bradbury. The book is a short collection of fictional stories that Bradbury put together to make a complete story. It gives the illusory account of men who go out to colonize Mars. It shows the endeavors by NASA to explore the outer space, especially Mars with the intention of colonizing it. One of these attempts finally succeeded and various people who want to escape crazy life on Earth. The literature is divided into three excerpts each complete on its own. They all revolve earth’s destruction, migration of some people to Mars and their desire to come back to earth. Comparing the events and experiences in the excerpts and real life events, there are many similarities in both lives-life on earth and that on Mars. As people are escaping the hardships experienced on earth, they still desire to return to earth on other backgrounds. This paper will compare the actions and feelings of people in the excerpts to real life experiences.
The reasons for going to Mars
The first excerpt about the settlers explains the reasons for going to Mars. The human race finds life on Earth not completely comforting and speculates better life on Mars. As written from the piece, “they came because they were afraid or unafraid, because they were happy or unhappy, because they felt pilgrims or did not feel like pilgrims. There was a reason for each man…They were coming with small dreams, or large dreams or none at all”. This shows the adversities they faced on Earth and the desire to change their lives through the exploration of the Mars. They differently speculated their life on Mars just like in real life where people tend to share distinct beliefs. Looking at the short story of “and the Moon still be as bright,” the character named Spender is very keen, passionate and concerned about his beliefs. In life, many people find themselves standing alone on what they believe. Some people may fail to see the logic of what one believes in. Young readers would find themselves in situations where people do not see logic in their reasoning or beliefs. The reason for going to Mars might have been the same, but their spirit of making it there depended on individual beliefs.
The first excerpt shows how the Martians suffered from a disease that threatened to wipe them off the face of the universe. The disease was brought to Mars by earlier visitors, and the Martians are not so welcoming again after what happened to them. The visitors show little regard to the natives and their way of life. The third excerpt about the watchers shows the continued war on earth which threatens human existence. As written from the piece “there was Earth, and there the coming war there hundreds of thousands and mothers or grandmothers or fathers or brothers or aunts or uncles or cousin. They stood on the porches and tried to believe in the existence of Earth, as much as they have once believed on the existence of Mars”. Those who had gone to Mars find themselves headed back to earth to save the human race from being wiped off the face of the earth. The fight among humans themselves shows the human nature whereby people become mean and heartless towards their fellow men. They want to change them, but in the end, they fail to accomplish this objective because they know what the American civilization did to Earth. When the war breaks out, some members of NASA decide to go home while others leave for Mars. The author shows how the crew abandons the intention to colonize and instead embrace the culture of the Martians although they initially regarded them as inferior.
Colonization of Mars
The issue of colonization is addressed in details. This time, colonization is done the American way, and their main idea is to take civilization to the Martians. The second excerpt of the book mainly shows the successful exploration of the universe and the landing of man on Mars. They realize that there are only a few Martians who interact with them, the reason being that many of the Martians had died due to a mysterious disease. The crew has had time adapting to the new environment because of its complete difference from the face of the earth. The crew does not colonize the Martians as they planned all along; instead, they choose to live like the Martians. They burn the map of the earth they had carried with them. They also consider the Martians civilization better than the American one. The author shows the reader that not all cultures are to be changed, sometimes one needs to embrace other cultures different from theirs. From the second excerpt, the Rockets finally settle on Mars. It is written, “In six months a dozen small towns had been laid down the naked planet, filled with sizzling neon and tubes and yellow electric bulbs. In all, some ninety thousand people came to Mars on Earth, were packing their grips…” Colonization does not have to be damaging to cultures like the historical colonization. People can choose to adapt to a different culture, respect them and uphold them. Modernization today focuses on supporting cultures and not killing them, and that is the true civilization which is featured in the colonization of the Mars.
Desire to return to earth
The desire to return to earth can be seen crippling in from the piece of the settlers where the men start feeling lonely even before the rocket could be fired in space. Quoting from the piece, “for most men felt the great illness…And this disease was called loneliness, because when you saw your home dwindle to the size of your fist and then lemon-size and the in-size…you were nowhere, with the space all around, nothing familiar, only other strange men.” This can be compared to the feelings of students of diversity who are faced with the challenge of trying to adapt to new environments. They have the inner urge not to flow with the new culture. In some cases, such students fear the changes they find in the new places they go to. The feeling of moving to an alien continent would be similar to that of students who have moved to America to study.
The three excerpts bring a new perception on the exploration of Mars. They are about a transformation that might indeed be rewarding, but nothing comes without hardships and challenges. It is not easy leaving homeland to a totally new settlement where life is created all over again, but it seems like the only way to escape adversities experienced on earth.
Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.