The Meaning of The Martian Chronicles: Ray Bradbury’s Fantasy Worlds with Deep Subtext

Ray Bradbury has not been on our site yet, and this is a big oversight on our part. Still, the author is extremely popular, talented and worthy of a place on the alley of fame of writing.

So today let’s talk about the meaning of his most popular collection of short stories, The Martian Chronicles. Get comfortable, it will be interesting!

Briefly about the book

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This collection of short stories brought Bradbury worldwide fame, as under one cover the author collected a lot of amazing stories about the clash of two cultures and civilizations alien to each other. On the one hand, these are mysterious Martians who live in a completely different way and not with the goals pursued by more prosaic and assertive earthlings.

However, in the course of reading the stories, it becomes clear that in this clash, as a result, there will be no winners.

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It is noteworthy that all the stories are different in style of writing and volume. These are separate and independent fragments with their own plot. If you read one story from the collection, we are sure that you would consider it a completely finished story.

However, upon further reading, it becomes clear that each story is dated and their totality creates a complete picture of the conquest of Mars by mankind. This clash of two civilizations lasted 28 years.

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Yes, we have a picture of the conquest of the whole planet, where it is people who act as evil aliens who came to enslave and destroy.

The cycle of stories itself is also atypical, because, as a rule, science fiction tells episodes from the life of human astronauts. And here Bradbury himself obviously sympathizes with the Martians, who exist more harmoniously and consciously in space.

The meaning of the collection

The cycle of stories begins with the sketch “Rocket Summer”, in which everything is full of mobilizing energy. Then the active and cheerful narrative is interrupted by the story of “Illa” about the peaceful existence of the Martians. And there will be a lot of such transitions in the collection.

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However, gradually we begin to notice that the serenity of the Martians begins to evaporate, as more and more earthlings become more and more earthlings on their home planet every year. At first, no one believes that these are really creatures from another planet. No wonder, because the Martians take earthlings for “traveled” relatives who played with the change in the physical shell and suffer from “secondary hallucinations.” Therefore, they are euthanized to alleviate their suffering. So three missions of earthlings to Mars perish.

The first meaning of the book is that humanity throughout its history only captured, enslaved, forced to serve itself. So it was during the development of America and a number of other countries / continents. Almost always, the local population suffered and was destroyed, or turned into slaves.

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In the novel The Martian Chronicles, the locals are not angels or demons, they are also obsessed with passions and negative qualities are not alien to them. They are practically the same as the earthlings. Therefore, the first expedition perishes in its entirety at the hands of the jealous husband of one of the Martians.

You may get the impression that the book is about the seizure of foreign lands and the horrors of assimilation. However, this is not quite true.

The Martian Chronicles is a cycle of stories about the transience of our lives and loneliness. All the people that we see in the course of the story are terribly lonely – both artists, and crazy members of space expeditions, and husbands, their wives and children.

For example, in one of the stories, an earthling could not bear the death of his family due to a virus. Therefore, he created copies of his wife and children. However, after his death, the robots continued to calmly go about their household chores, since they simply did not know how to do anything else.

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In another story, a Martian falls into the graying of earthlings and, to his surprise, realizes that everyone around him sees his dead relatives in him. He begins to use this to stay alive and find a place for himself here. However, each person constantly needs new and new faces, egoism goes off scale, people cannot stop, and the Martian dies.

However, the loneliest character of the entire cycle is a fully automated house on Earth controlled by AI. The system continues to serve all the needs of the family, but no one has been alive for a long time.

This concludes our analysis. If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to write them in the comments. And we have prepared several other reviews for you. Here they are:

Analysis of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction novel “The End of Eternity” or how capitalism manipulates people

The meaning of the book “The Doomed City” by the Strugatsky brothers: the eternal city, the creative intelligentsia and the mysterious Mentors

The meaning of the book “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins: everything is built on genes and there is no place for individuality

The meaning of the book “Hormones of happiness” by Loretta Graziano Breuning: how to manage your hormones to live happily

The meaning of the book “God as an illusion” by Richard Dawkins: how a religious atheist hit biology and the origin of man

And that’s all we have for sure. So have a peaceful sky over your head and see you soon on the pages of new articles!

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