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8) Bradbury: Brave New Mars

Although most of the stories in The Martian Chronicles take place on Mars, and the colonization of the red planet is in the centre of the plot, the novel is not about Mars and Martians, but about Earth men. So what does Mars give us in terms of understanding the ways of humankind?

Mars allows the writer to subject to critique humans' colonization policy and inability to accept different cultures. The problem belongs to humankind, but on Earth cultures do not differ so much from each other as humans and Martians do. Therefore the conflict between these two races can be roused to the highest degree. Misunderstanding leads to confrontation, and confrontation to hostility. First expeditions end in a disaster, because people want to take Martian's land and women and to be praised for this too. Men on Mars are compared to lunatics, and are treated accordingly.

On Mars we can observe a man confronted with the culture utterly unlike his own. Martians are not spoiled by technology, they haven't forgotten religion and art, and they have found some universe purport of life. They have stopped in their progress where the Earth men should have stopped, and getting in contact with Martian civilization invokes immense nostalgia in humans, rouses a feeling similar to that of reading an old book in the world where all the fantasy is abolished and all the libraries burnt.

Not all men can accept this alien culture and appreciate it, only those who can step out of the rapid flow of life, "feel time in the air" and set aside their weapons. Only those who can appreciate the heritage of an old civilization is worth the memory of people, and Spender is remembered by his comrades even 20 years after his death. Mars exposes bad and good qualities in a person and proves his worthiness or unworthiness in its unique, harsh and romantic way. 


Works cited:

1) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury


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