Ray Bradbury Message Board
Stephanie Rekuski- CSt 3030, posts on 7/10/2009 3:19:40 PM
Not only was this my first Bradbury novel, this was my first science fiction read. Before I read the novel, I read the small blurb about the author and I found it interesting that he was from Waukegan, Illinois and started writing at the age of twelve. If I recall correctly, I believe this city was mentioned in the book, along with the state of Ohio. Once I began reading the book, I found it a little difficult to get into. I did enjoy how it was written as short stories and they all tied together in some way, but I felt it a little hard to follow with all of the different plots going on at the same time. In the beginning of the book, each chapter or short story is dedicated to describing the expeditions of various rockets from Earth to Mars. After reading these chapters, you could tell that the Martians didn’t want anything to do with the Earth humans. They would get rid of them at any possible cause. I found the Martians especially intelligent when they gave off the illusion of having the hometowns and family members of the rocket member to lure them off the rocket and into their homes only to kill them in the middle of the night. This shows true intelligence but one question I have with this is, how did the Martians know how to make this illusion about each rocket member. How were they about to look like their family members and know about their past?
Moreover, I believe that this book deals with how humans are destroying their own land and looking for life elsewhere. This is evident by the nuclear war that is happening on Earth. However, I didn’t feel I got this concept till towards the end of the novel. But once the humans effectively landed on Mars, they started colonizing and forming their new lives as the way it was on Earth, or very similar to it. This novel illustrates that humans are destroying our land, relocating and then again destroying other land. This book made me take a look at my life and the life around be and ask the question, am I currently destroying my land and using up the resources that are available to me. Are we as humans going to need to relocate because of this one day? Overall, I thought that this was a pretty good book that had some good points to it that made you question the life you live. Bradbury is a good author that has a colorful imagination and I believe that he was really ahead of the time with this novel.
Barbara posts on 7/3/2009 12:00:50 PM
I’m looking for a short story that I believe was written by Ray Bradbury. The story line was Earthlings colonizing a planet (Mars?) and the natives selling them things to help. These items all have a bad side and require some other item to solve the problem. Can’t remember more than that but would love to get the title so I can read it again.
Noel Warmbold-UMD posts on 5/14/2009 2:18:52 AM
I found the book to be very interesting. I loved how it progressed through a time of about 27 years. It allows the reader to see what Mars was like before the humans came to it, while the humans occupied Mars, and what it was like after the humans abandoned Mars. This book really gets people thinking about life on Mars and the possibility of it, even though science has proved that there is no life on Mars as described in the book. I find it intersting that the Martians were so much like humans, except for the fact that they were telepathic. But the Martians lived in houses, they had spouses, and they did many activities that humans do. The Martians seemed to be the image of what the human race could be. They were peaceful and they didn't worry about war and poverty such as the humans do. Then the humans went up there and destroyed what the Martians had created just so that they could escape from the horrible world that they had built for themselves back on Earth. The Martian Chronicles really was a great book that explored the flaws of the human race snd really brought to light how imperfect of a race we really are.
spola003 UMD posts on 5/13/2009 7:51:59 PM
I agree with Melissa that at first I was curious as well as to why the martians were not open to the idea of people from earth arriving on their planet. It wasn't even so much for me that they weren't excited but, almost methodical about it after a while. Except of course for Mrs. K who was very day dreamy about the idea of the people from earth coming to her planet and sweeping her off her feet. Sci Fi is something that I have always shyed away from but, I think that this book was a good introduction into it!
skali014 posts on 5/11/2009 3:43:51 PM
When reading the book, I thought that the most interesting part was the changing of the self interests shared by the earth visitors to Mars. During the first expedition, the astronauts were only seeking recognition for doing what many people thought was unlikely. By the third voyage, the crew of astronauts that were not only searching for remains of prior voyagers to the planet, but were hoping to gain respect themselves. Their naive nature let them become victims of the Martians' ability to transform their appearance to manipulate others. The later voyages invoked battles within the crew to establish the future of a destroyed planet. The lack of interest in archiving the planet's history caused an ethical debate among crew members. Finally, the migration to mars during the nuclear events on earth shows a completely new motive. People begin setting their self interests aside and looking out for the sanctity of the human population. This transformation is so typical of our behavior. The discoveries of new places/things are usually done first for recognition, then for a purpose. While many would argue that the purpose must exist before people will demand recognition, the motives are always the same.
Melissa Suhonen -UMD posts on 5/2/2009 6:23:02 PM
The Martians at the beginning of the book had the right idea. At first I thought why were they so unwilling to accept the new visitors from another planet? They didn’t really know anything about the newcomers and yet, they got rid of the first three crews without any attempt to find out about them. Maybe, the way they to see into the minds of the crew showed them what man was really like and that they would be way better off without us. The book isn’t too positive about the effect that mankind could have on other worlds if we ever got there. Look at what we have done to our own plant. I can’t see people doing things any differently on another planet. I know a couple of people who are like Sam Parkhill who have no consideration for anything that isn’t theirs. I can just see any number of people destroying the Martian cities either by throwing rocks through the windows or shooting off the towers just for fun. And the worse part is, they wouldn’t even give it a second thought. I doubt if they would even think that there was anything wrong with destroying something in the old Martian cities. After all, the Martians were all gone so their cities couldn’t be worth much anymore. At the end of the book, the Martians had been destroyed, sadly by the chickenpox, and earth was destroyed by war. Could the last Martians really make a society that wouldn’t be so destructive? Could they really make a new start and go in a new direction? It would be a nice thought, but I doubt that they would be able to succeed at that. The first few generations might succeed in making a change, but I have my doubts that any changes would be long lasting. People are people and there are too many of us that just don’t care about others.
Jacob Y posts on 4/28/2009 2:46:52 AM
I was actually very excited to read this book for a couple reasons. First, my dad had to read this book back in high school; this made it rather appealing to me since he said he had enjoyed reading it. I also have never read anything by Bradbury, but I had heard many good reviews of his works from numerous friends of mine.
After starting the book I had a few mixed feelings about it. I found it difficult at times to follow due to the many characters that are involved in the book; not to mention the many plots going on as well. It truly was very similar to a collection of short stories, and I think that is partially why I got so hooked once I started reading it. After looking around on some websites I found that Ray Bradbury was known for writing over 500 short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse; which explains the writing style of this book a little more.
Another reason I got so drawn into this book were the themes presented throughout the book; particularly the idea of humans destroying Earth and looking for another place to go. I too have often wondered if we won’t end up expending our resources on Earth to the point where there is nothing left; thus we must start looking elsewhere. Worse yet, I have thought about the idea that we will not only exhaust our resources, but will completely destroy Earth to the point where relocating is the only option. I really feel Bradbury did a great job entertaining these ideas, especially in how realistic he kept it. By this, I mean that I do feel that if humans did go to another planet in order to relocate, we would just try and take it over and make it ours; we would see colonization happen all over again like we have throughout history. This is exactly what Bradbury portrays in the Martian Chronicles, and it was this theme that really kept my interest while reading it. I’m actually now rather interested in reading some of his other books in the near future.
Kelly O. posts on 4/26/2009 10:49:00 PM
I agree with the last post, in that I loved reading Fahrenheit 451, and was just as excited to read The Martian Chronicles, knowing that it was a different change of pace for Bradbury. I liked the short story format, because it added a lot of detail that you may not have gotten had the book been based off of just a couple of characters.
One of my favorite stories was towards the end of the book. The story revolved around the motions of a house. The songs in the house still played, the announcements were still voiced, all the motions were still the same from day to day and yet, there was no family existant in the house anymore. I think that this story was sort of eerie in the fact that the inhabitants of the house were dead, and yet, the things they created were still doing their jobs well after they weren't needed anymore. As though the capability of what we create is beginning to surpass what we as humans are actually capable of.
Laura F. posts on 4/25/2009 1:46:20 PM
Unlike most of the others on this discussion forum, I was really excited to read this novel because I had read Fahrenheit 451, another Ray Bradbury novel, in high school and had loved it. Realizing that The Martian Chronicles was written by the same author made reading this novel so much easier. In addition, it was a nice change of pace to read a novel rather than watch a movie because I have always appreciated books more than movies. I especially liked the short story format because it pushes the reader to integrate the varied story lines and interpret what the author was trying to convey. I thought this format kept the book interesting and made his theme of humans being ethnocentric really stand out without blatantly stating it. I really enjoy Bradbury’s use of poetic imagery to get his point across instead of droning on in a boring way. My favorite part of the novel was the theme of how humans always feel that our way is the best. We are uncompromising and narrow minded and this often gets us into trouble. I think The Martian Chronicles did an excellent job of highlighting this.
Brandon posts on 4/24/2009 2:08:40 AM
Like many people before me, American’s/European’s takeover of natives of other countries continuously came to my mind while reading this book; it really became one of the main themes of the entire book. Bradbury makes references to American’s obsession with wealth and “justified” taking of land and possessions from those who are weaker than us. This showed through to me the most in “The Marian and “The Off season”. The story, “The Marian, doesn’t exactly depict the takeover aspect of invasion, but more so the aftermath. I pictured the sad and sorrow lives of the Martians when some of their last hopes of surviving the invasion drive them to conform in their own world. Then if the human greed in taking the Martians land wasn’t enough, their greed and demand to see only their loved ones drives many Martians to death. Way to kill off the only opportunity you had of being with your “loved one” again. As far as “The Off Season” goes, this story depicts more of the hostile forced takeover aspect of invasion. Parkhill reminded me of a modern day Genghis Kahn in the way he would march from city to city and basically building and operating businesses wherever he pleased. He was blind to the fact he was destroying and killing innocent people in his mission to continue life just how it had been on Earth. So much for a “new” life.
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