Ray Bradbury Message Board
Scott P. UMD posts on 10/8/2008 9:11:31 PM
After few chapters, I found myself flipping all the way back to the beginning of the book to check the copyright date. Having been published in 1950, it was interesting to see what the future was dreamed to be like from his era's point of view, especially considering that the Cold War was gaining momentum at the time. Chapters like “Way in the Middle of the Air” suggests that racism would still be around in the future in the same manner as it was back then. Some of the language in the chapter and even the way in which Teece addresses his wife feels wrong in today's standards. Chapters like “The Luggage Store” and more so “The Off-Season” highlight growing capitalist ideas. “Usher II” is a haunting chapter of revenge and warns what me happen if censorship gets out of hand (Ironically enough, as others have mentioned, many of Bradbury's books like Fahrenheit 451 are considered “banned books”) . The fact that practically everyone, even the martins, have guns and fire them off willy-nilly was a frustrating with the waste of human and Martian life. And “The Watchers” ultimately passes what many who lived during the Cold War had come to fear: full-out nuclear war that eventually leads Earth-men to kill each other. I hope, however, that Rachel in the previous post is wrong and that Bradbury's tale is not a prediction of the future. I like to hope that things NOT seen by Bradbury like the Civil Rights Movement and the International Space Station are signs of a more positive future. Still, despite being over fifty-years old, many of the book's themes are still relevant today. Just as we teach history with the hopes of learning from past mistakes, we can also look to possible futures as warnings.
Rachel UMD posts on 10/7/2008 10:09:56 PM
When I first began reading this book I was confused at the format, but I learned to love it since I tend to have a hard time staying focused on one idea at a time. What I really loved about the book was how the Martians thought to deal with the Earth people. Some claimed to be dead family members, which I thought was tricky, yet smart. I found it interesting that the Martians always seemed to outsmart those who came from Earth.
Another theme I liked and surely agreed with was how exploitative those were who came from Earth. Even though the book was written some years ago, the themes seem even more prevalent today in the sense that we are using up our resources here on Earth so we are forced to find them elsewhere in the solar system. The dates of the stories may just be a few years off track…this book seems to be a prediction of our fateful future…
Jacob C UMD posts on 9/22/2008 2:56:55 PM
When I started reading this novel I wasn't sure I would enjoy the style of jumping around to different characters for each chapter. After finishing the novel I thought it was the best way to do it. It allowed me as a reader to see this establishment of mars from numerous different viewpoints and come to conclusions myself instead of having them told to me. Considering this book is over 50 years old I give Bradbury a lot of credit for creating a future that seems sad, but very possible. This book is almost depressing as it shows how we as a society can tarnish something so quickly. Overall a terrific book that I will read again.
Kroll074 - UMD posts on 9/14/2008 7:25:05 PM
This book was very interesting to me. It had so many interconnecting stories to follow. I am amazed at how in 1946 Bradbury was thinking about how we would be landed on Mars in 54 years; but there was no inflation! He was so forward in some of his thoughts; but, some ways of life did not change much. His idea of the future was intriguing - and made this book unlike any other that I had read!
Abby K UMD posts on 9/8/2008 2:31:17 PM
I really liked this book! It's so different from what I normally read, yet it was an easy read because of the short story format. I liked how all of the stories were a little different from each other, but each was connected to the stories before it in some way. I liked the theme that said Americans are too greedy and destructive, I think it's a very good point and we need to pay attention to what Bradbury was saying in the book.
Abbey - UMD posts on 9/6/2008 10:32:15 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have found that overall science fiction has been a more challenging genre for me to get into, however, Bradbury's Martian Chronicles kept me interested, and I finished it very quickly. One of the best aspects of the book is the variety of stories that each chapter brought. Each chapter seems to deal with a different human emotion in a way that I would not typically see it. I also enjoyed how Bradbury took a bit of a satirical view on how humans/Americans view themselves with such importance. The entire book seems to make you think about how ignorant and arrogant that we might be to think that we are the only "civilized" race in the universe, and the possibility that there are other species out there that think we are not advanced at all. I particularily enjoyed the story of Mrs. Ttt and her introduction to Captian Williams and his men-- they did not phase her and she really didn't care for them, which was shocking to them because they expected her to be wowed by them.
RYAN posts on 9/4/2008 12:33:12 PM
My favorit story from Ray Bradbury is from his book illastrated man, the story is the velt. i like how he uses symbloium to show that the partents arnt taking care of the kids like the machines are. and that the machines care about the kids more then there own parents. the way that he has the kids kill the parents is amazing because it really shows that the kids realy dong care about the parents because the parents really dont care about the kids. familys like that should be broken up because if people dont care about eachother they should not be around eachother. yes, this is in the future and yes things in the future are different then they are now but familys should love eachother or they shouldent even be around eachtother. Ray Bradburys story the veldt changed my life forever. he is an amazing writer and writes about amazing things.
Andrew UMD posts on 9/1/2008 11:52:47 PM
This book I eventually came to enjoy. At first, I must admit it was a little slow for me. However, after reading towards the middle of the book, I found myself looking back at the previous chapters since I did not pay much attention to them while reading.
One chapter of the book I enjoyed thoroughly was And the Moon Still Be Bright. This is when Spender protects the ancient Martian land at any cost, including the cost of his crew's lives. This was a interesting chapter to me as it was the human race who eradicated the Martian race with Chicken Pox of all things. Spender looked at the Martian race as a well developed society, more sophisticated then humans. Spender shows us this when he states that “In that picture, color does not exist, really. A scientist can prove that color is only the way the cells are placed in a certain material to reflect light.” A Martian would say “This is a fine picture. It came from the hand and the mind of a man inspired. Its idea and its color are from life.”
Another chapter I found very interesting is There Will Come Soft Rains. This chapter is about a house that keeps operating as though the family still lives there, although the family has been gone for years. The house inevitably catches fire and dies itself, even though it tries everything in its power to prevent its death. The house almost seems human itself, attempting to protect itself and even shows what seem to be emotions. I laughed to myself when reading the last of the chapter as the house continues to say the date over and over again, which leads one to believe the house wall will continue to do this until discovered by the next people who find the world, and will wonder what the meaning of the words the wall is saying are.
Nick T UMD posts on 8/22/2008 2:36:02 PM
This was the first Bradbury I have read, and I enjoyed it very much. I found it to have almost an infinite number of underlying themes, most of which can be very much applied to the current state of American society.
One of the stories I found most intriguing was the story of "Tom." This was the entity that the couple discovered at their door one evening, who became their son, Tom, who had died on earth several years earlier. As we learn more about him, we discover that "Tom" is not actually who the couple think he is, but rather it becomes whomever those around it want it to be. Eventually, too many people see it, and it dies because it's trying to be all of the different people that everyone wants it to be. I found this to be a very interesting story. I think what it is trying to symbolize is that people need to be who they are, and not who those around them want them to be. In other words, if you aren't able to be who you are and who you want to be, then you will die inside.
Another story I found to be very interesting was the story of Spender. I thought it was very surprising that he was willing to completely turn on everyone he had traveled to Mars with to obtain the new way of society he was discovering. It was cool that he was able to see what Americans had done to their own land and was unwilling to allow them to do the same to Mars. This story seems so obviously symbolic that it almost isn't even symbolic. I think what Bradbury was trying to say here was that if Americans, and the world in general, continue to treat the world in the manner we have thus far, our time on this planet will be short lived.
Overall, I think it's very interesting that Bradbury was willing to illustrate exactly what he felt about our current society and how important it is for us to change it. I'm sure this went against much of what government stands for as far as published writing goes, but to Bradbury, these points were so important that he was willing to publish it anyway. From what I understand, this book, as well as Farenheit 51, was banned from several schools in the United States, which I think makes it even more interesting.
ArodUMD posts on 8/22/2008 12:25:09 PM
This, along with many here, was my first Bradbury book i have read. However I have seen his influence on many movies. I recently when i saw Blade Runner again noticed his name on the apartment building where Sebastian lived.
Back on subject. I thought this book was very put together. at first i didn't really enjoy it because it jumped around too much. It wouldn't let me get a good grasp on what was happening, but it all tied into each other very well.
The most overpowering theme coming from this book was the human invasion of corruption and "earth like" values. Human corruption i'm noticing is a very popular theme in science fiction. This theme is very relevant, not just in the 1950s but in the present as well.
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