Ray Bradbury Message Board
Grant - UMD posts on 9/2/2009 4:05:58 PM
In response to Eric's questions, I don't believe there is one specific genre of books he is fascinated with, but rather the take on government censorship. Bradbury's chapter Usher II weighs heavily on the argument against censorship. I believe Bradbury feels that censorship negates the creativity and uniqueness that we are encouraged to showcase throughout our lives. Destroying this creativity is destroying the human mind, running parallel to the events happening on Mars in this story. Humans are censoring (eliminating) Martians from the planet.
Outsider posts on 8/22/2009 6:13:59 AM
BradBury did a fantastic job of using science fiction to question reality. In the book he was able to use several different separate stories to "capture" the larger moral. However, and more significant in this case of the prognosis. I think he was showing us all the eventual demise of man-kind.
Nevertheless, I would argue that the Bradbury is questioning the very roots of our society. Moreover, a theme that is unable to be altered, which therefore leaves me the read frustrated. "How can we stop evolution"?
Eric posts on 8/20/2009 7:13:15 PM
One thing I found pretty fascinating is how Bradbury viewed the world in 1950, when this was written. The book often mentioned authors and books that were 'questionable' in history, many were banned. I don't know much about these books but does anyone know about his fascination with these books? Were they all of the same genre or was he just fascinated with banned books? Also, what was Bradbury's take on racism? This book was well before the civil rights movement, yet from this book I would guess he was against slavery. The author was from Illinois so this might be true, however the shop owner (I forgot his name) who didn't want the black people to go to Mars made me think otherwise.
Lindsay McSweeney UMD posts on 8/15/2009 10:42:08 PM
I really enjoyed this book. It was the first science fiction book that I ever read, and it had several different interesting themes throughout. I thought that in the chapter and the moon be still as bright, he made an interesting point about history, and how man has destroyed one planet already, so why should we allow it do so to another planet. Also, I think it was interesting how he made the point that martians understood the meaning of life was to live, a lot like animals. The parts about telepathy, and the ability of martians to transform things into objects that humans want to see, whether it be a hometown, or a loved one. This book showed how big of a hold nostalgia has on people, and their desire to have things be the way they used to be. Colonization and its progress was the main theme of this book. Whether or not the progress we have made is a good or bad thing, is highly debated, but Bradbury seems to think it is a bad thing, because we are erasing another cultures history.
Nick UMD posts on 8/13/2009 9:32:47 PM
I really enjoyed reading this book, because of the fact that it reminds me a lot of our own American culture. What i mean is that a lot of the stories had to deal with the new settlement in America. What really reminded me of this was how the humans bring a disease from Earth to Mars which eventually kills many of the Martians, just as what happened to the Indians when the Easterners came to the United States. Overall i really enjoyed this book, it was my first experience with Bradbury, and first experience with a science fiction read. I was never really too interested in science fiction but I really enjoyed this book, and i recommend it to everyone.
Rob Kaiser-Schatzlein posts on 8/13/2009 12:23:48 AM
In all of the background research I have done about The Martian Chronicles one thing really stand out. Bradbury seems to view the novel (or collection of short stories) as a whimsical reinterpretation of life. To him, this is the essence of fantasy. He intentionally chooses this medium instead of drifting more into the realm of science fiction. Even within the first few pages of the book you can tell that you are dealing with a story concerned more with the characters than the specifics of the technology that goes into space travel or Martian living. In fact Bradbury leaves many things unexplained, like the extent of Martian telepathy or the specific capabilities of shape-shifting beings. This science fiction misstep ends up being an fantasy enhancement. I think this is the most brilliant part of this book.
It is the same reason this story is timeless. This also is another intentional element of Bradbury’s writing. He says that the story is more akin to Greek mythology and this similarity allows the book to transcend generations. As a writing and thinker it gives him the opportunity to illuminate countless generation to his musing on the faults and follies of the human condition. For all of the facts make me think that Ray Bradbury has truly used the medium of fiction and the genre of fantasy to it’s full potential.
Dan posts on 8/9/2009 9:03:11 PM
This was the first Ray Bradbury book that I have read so far...I thought it was very interesting and I liked the way the book was set up from short story to short story. It was awesome to read about visions while trying to decide what visions were reality or which ones were not. I enjoyed the October 2026 chapter of The Million-Year Picnic. The father had his whole plan of going on this "trip" for twenty years and executed it perfectly. They played a fun game and ended up claiming the planet they landed on while there were still martians claiming territory on the planet also. Do the martians open up and embrace the humans eventually, is there a mutual respect, or do they battle it out?
Derek SaintOnge posts on 8/7/2009 4:52:43 PM
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It opened up many points that are wrong in our society such as greed, selfishness, and the need to be superior to others. These negative traits were frequently pointed out in the fourth expedition chapter which I found to be quite interesting. I also enjoyed reading the "Usher II" chapter. It reminded me of the book "Fahrenheit 451" as well as the film "Equilibrium" where both pieces are based on societies where emotions and anything emotionally based are forbidden and punishable by death. Life in itself should consist of emotions such as love, happiness, sadness, etc otherwise whats the point of living? Forbidding emotions only goes to show that we have failed to have control over ourselves and our actions.
Will Schmidley posts on 8/5/2009 6:01:19 PM
Along with our flaws, I believe the book demonstrates our racesâ€™ depth and complexity as well, with flaws but also with some great traits, such as compassion and love. I think some of our better traits are shown in the chapters titled The Martian and The Millionaire Picnic.
My favorite chapter from this book was titled Usher II. It seemed so odd and out of place. Most of the chapters helped moved the story forward in some manner but this chapter was one in its own. In the chapter, a millionaire moves to Mars and spends millions building a mansion that models a nightmare. He eventually gets revenge on those that burned his book collection. This chapter addressed the idea of censorship and made reference to Edgar Allen Poe frequently. I liked this chapter because it shows Ray Bradburyâ€™s creativeness. I also like this chapter because I too am against the idea of certain types of censorship although I wouldnâ€™t murder the supporters of the issue.
Ian Floyd-UMD posts on 7/24/2009 4:24:52 PM
I've read a number of Ray Bradbury novels and like the rest Martian Chronicles is a great Science Fiction story with plenty of social commentary. I like how Bradbury starts the novel off with Mrs. K and fools us into thinking that peaceful contact between Martians and humans is possible and then crushes that notion with the murder of the first and third landing party, the commitment of the second and the forth party landing on the now dead planet discovering that nearly all martians have been killed by a disease we brought. I also liked how during the chapter The Night Meeting he showed us what contact between man and martian could have been like, how the individuals of the two species could get along and that the problem had laid with the two civilizations coming into conflict.
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