Ray Bradbury Message Board

Lisa posts on 8/23/2011 5:18:53 PM I understand Spender was trying to do something beneficial for Mars in Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" but are there any other characters doing anything to benefit Mars?
Shane Omersa(UMD) posts on 11/15/2010 9:07:29 PM What I enjoyed about The Martian Chronicles besides the procession of morally and philosophically rich plot, was the structure of the work as separate, but interconnected short stories. No one section was independent of what took place in another, but every section had a different story to tell. Each one giving a unique perspective of a much larger picture. The theme that was most apparent to me and undoubtedly a central point the whole work is meant to convey is the re-occurrence of human mistakes and error. It is humanity's need for growth and innovation that inevitably leads to control and then to dispute. Ambition to thrive in advanced societies has tended result in strengthening one group or circumstance at the expense of another. We see this with growing environmental and climatic concerns, as well as the availability and use of resources. Spender's concerns and predictions about Mars being wasted away just as Earth had been accurate and definitely applicable to reality.
Jeff Kramer (UMD) posts on 11/6/2010 5:31:14 PM I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought the way all of the stories were told in chronological order through different points of view was a great way to show the reader what happens from a takeover/colonization and the way it affects all those involved. The way this story paralleled that of the colonization of the west and the native Americans was a warning from Bradbury to be aware of what it means to disregard a human population and force them to change to your own ways of life. The section of the book that was the most powerful for me was the chapter titled The Way in The Middle of the Air. The way the White "owners" of the blacks behaved was tough to read, how the whites were mad that their property was leaving and how they were mad that they were able to make rockets with their own money was such a shock was an eye opener to me and a great way to see the way the slaves behaved when they were leaving and the way the owners behaved like children. when Belter owed Mr. Teese $50 and would not let him go on the rocket the crowd around had listened to the argument and gathered the money amongst themselves and paid for Belter to be free from his debt, which was not what mr Teese wanted but did not have a choice. When mr Teese was challenged by the other white men at the end of the chapter and Grandpa had offered to clean the guns so the kid could go on the rocket he finally had to give in and admit he had lost but not before he acted like a sore loser and a racist not willing to change. Right up to the end Mr Teese was treated with respect by the blacks and called Mister.

Elizabeth Buenzow (UMD) posts on 11/2/2010 12:53:21 AM I really enjoyed reading this book. I felt that Bradbury had an amazing way of describing each and every character and the experience they were each having at that time. There were a few parts in the book that were a little slow, but the other parts definitely made up for them. It usually takes me a few days to really understand what the entire picture is in a book, but I think it is quite easy to see at least one of Bradbury's points right away. We, on Earth, have a history and pattern of taking and taking without giving back. Many people feel they are entitled to so much and do not take a second to look at who their taking or stealing will impact. The parallel between our past of taking from others (such as taking land from Native American tribes) and the stealing of land on Mars is quite obvious. I think Bradbury was trying to show that if we keep taking from others and do not change our ways now, we will not only destroy each other, but also the world we live in. If, at some point, we are able to inhabit other planets or areas, I think it is important to remember that it is not all ours to destroy. We need to respect what is there already and learn to live in the environment we are in.
Jennifer Becker posts on 10/31/2010 5:13:11 AM As I was reading through these chronicles I could not help but notice how similar Ray Bradbury is to Rod Serling with his older television shows “The Night Gallery” and “The Twilight Zone”. They were like mini movies/stories with a moral to each one of them. I think Ray Bradbury had a different twist with to his chronicles though. They all seemed to tie together and with a moral to each one, but there was a big picture at the end whereas Rod Sterling just had short mini movies that did not tie in together. I really enjoyed reading this book, but I noticed I had to read certain aspects over twice to really get a grasp and keep up with what was going on. I agree with one of Coopers comments down below about how a lot of people distance themselves from people with disability. You said how we are afraid of them or afraid to become how they are. I totally agree with you, but I believe it’s more to it then that. Many people are afraid of what other people will think of them if they are seen associating around people like that, or if somebody like that is going to bring them down and not be worth their time to deal with because in fact a lot of people are too lazy/selfish to help or care. It’s almost as if people forgot their morals, values, and ethics. I really thought Earth Men played a great example of that. I’m glad to see you noticed that as well. This story itself and especially The Naming of Names reminds me a lot of our history with the Martian colonization and how Europe had conquest of the Americas. The ‘Earthian’ rules had started to be applied and vacations had begun to be taken by sophisticates. They were basically being taken over and told what to do just as the Native Americans had been in this country. One of my biggest questions and it did boggle my mind was how the Martian had understood Tomas so well in the Night Meeting? It was as if the Martian was human himself to just be able to speak his language and understand him so quickly, or visa versa. I thought that was one of the stranger stories.
Lindsey Friesz posts on 10/27/2010 6:27:49 PM I have to write another submission here because I said some things in my last submission that I don't agree with anymore. I wrote my last submission right after completing the book, and I was not completely understanding the overall picture. However, now after thinking about it for a few days I completely understand the giant picture, rather lesson, that Bradbury painted. It is about the parallel destruction by the human race of not only Mars but of Earth as well. I believe that the overall moral is that we need to start learning from our mistakes. When all you do is take and take, something bad will happen, its just a matter of time. There has to be a equilibrium of take and give. I just had to write more in regards to a few part of my previous submission.
Lindsey Friesz posts on 10/21/2010 3:40:09 PM This book was a lot to take in. I did like how the book was broken down into multiple stories that were in calendar form and tied together while still telling an overall story. However, by the end of the movie I felt very overwhelmed more than anything. I understood the lessons that seemed to be apparent in each of the little stories, or I guess chronicles. But if there was a big picture at the end that was suppose to dominate above all else, I missed it. Overall I felt like the book portrayed all the different faults of the human race through life lessons. Each story kind of reminded me of those stories your mother would tell you when you were little that had a moral to it, for instance ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. I did like how each moral or fault was portrayed a different way, which was very creative of Bradbury. I also liked how some of the lesson were lessons that the human race or even individuals had encountered as well as lessons and/or faults that the human race had not encountered but you felt like it was something that was definitely plausible. There were some things in each chronicle that I didn’t understand, one of them being why those aliens give Sam Parkhill land rights. I kept waiting for that to be tied into a subsequent story, but if it did I didn’t catch it. Overall it was a good book, I think reading it a second time would help me understand things better.
Ember Curtiss posts on 10/15/2010 2:28:42 PM In the beginning, while reading the Martian Chronicles, I was confused by all of the different stories/ characters/ etc. However, by the middle (and especially the end) things started to make sense. There are so many different themes that portray our world today. For example, the ideas of swift colonization of Mars definately reflects our own American colonization. While in the book we went to Earth and made it our own (while annihilating, even if accidentally) early American pioneers did the same thing by pushing out the Native Americans. While we didn't neccesarily annihilate them, many were killed and the rest were sent to reservations. Like the novel, we didn't care what the names for the places were; instead we renamed everything and made formed America like we wanted it. Another major issue I noticed was the idea of slavery in the story entitled Way in the Middle of the Air. Samuel Teece is obviously extremely racist and would stop and nothing to make the ideas of slavery continue. Racism is unfortunately still a big issue with many American today and it even took a war to abolish slavery altogether. Lastly, the idea of government censorship, which is brought up in the story Usher II is and maybe always will be a big issue for Americans. What would you do if your freedom to read, write, watch what you wanted suddenly vanished?
Val M. posts on 10/12/2010 9:04:32 PM When I started reading the book I was surprised at how earth-like the characters and settings were depicted, even to the extent of maintaining traditional male and female marital roles with Ylla being a submissive wife and her husband being somewhat aloof and then going out hunting. I began to wonder if that was a common perception of life on other planets during the 1950's or if it was unique to Bradbury. There were some stories in the book that I enjoyed more than others, and some parts of the book that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I enjoyed reading "The Third Expedition," especially when Captain John Black begins to realize that everything may have been a trap. I thought the theme of 'I wouldn't want her if she was the last woman on Mars’ in "The Silent Towns" was quite funny. I also wondered why the Martians would hand over deeds to half of their land. Overall I thought it was a good book. I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi movies but haven’t read many sci-fi books so this was interesting to me.
Cooper Orth posts on 10/11/2010 9:00:12 PM There were a lot of times when I was reading this book that I started to feel very much like an alien myself. I feel like Bradbury was trying to convey that feeling (and many others) in people while they read his novel. While reading many of the stories, I felt like Bradbury was commenting on human species and how small we are but how big we think we are. So many human beings believe that the world revolves around them and that they are the main part of this worlds success. Although it is the complete opposite of that. I believe that the world would be much better without humans and would correct itself from the disastrous fate we are headed towards now. Bradbury also had a lot to say about human culture and the norms within it. The story with Ylla and her husband Yll reflects the relationships that many human beings are stuck in. The husband is controlling and very jealous of Ylla’s dream. Ylla is very submissive and let’s her husband control her. Ylla wanted to go meet the man from her dreams but her husband got so upset and wouldn’t let her leave the house, but he went out and killed the man from her dreams-who turned out to be the astronaut Nathaniel York. I also found the story The Earth Men really interesting. The story is about the second expedition and how the men from the ship end up in an insane asylum because the martians believed they were crazy and using telepathy to trick the other martians into believing their story and their appearance. The psychiatrist that was going to treat them had to kill them because he thought they were so mentally ill, and when they did not disappear he killed himself because he though he was also mentally ill. For me, this story strongly related again to human beings and how we treat mentally disabled people. Many people are quick to judge people with mental disabilities and just throw them in a mental institution or let them be homeless on the street. So many of us try to distance ourselves so much from people that are mentally ill because, I think, we are afraid of them or afraid to become how they are.
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