“They knew how to live with nature and get along with nature. They didn’t try too hard to be all men and no animal.”
– The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury is an interconnected thread of short stories written in the form of a novel. Though it is categorized as Science fiction, having dealt with space travel, telepathy, high-end technologies, alien encounter, it is more than just that!
Each of the short stories has depicted well about human’s attempt to colonize the red planet, Mars. A few expeditions failed, while some did succeed which in turn lead to other mishaps.
Bradbury brilliantly describes human tendency of wanting to gain power and dominate the other race, written in a strange and poetic manner. The writing is so whimsical that it makes you question over human existence. Completely spellbinding!
After it’s release in 1950, when Aldous Huxley read this book, he insisted Bradbury that this book is more poetic than science fiction. And that’s what most of the readers who read it felt, including me. Such an astounding and magnificent read it is! Though it was written more than half a century ago, compelling to the science fiction and fantasy genre, it has covered themes of human interest. While this novel may be a bit outdated scientifically, but the issues, problems, be it physical or psychological, which we earthlings faced at the time the novel was written are still relevant today. It’s true to say, some books may be are written at any point of time but their significant relevance lives for eternity.
The whole point of the novel sums up in these quotes :
“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”
“Science ran too far ahead of us too quickly, and the people got lost in a mechanical wilderness, like children making over pretty things, gadgets, helicopters, rockets; emphasizing the wrong items, emphasizing machines instead of how to run the machines. Wars got bigger and bigger and finally killed Earth. That!”
“They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressure; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.”
“They’ll be flopping their filthy atom bombs here, fighting for bases to have wars. Isn’t it enough that they ruined one planet without ruining another?
Do they have to foul someone else’s manger? Simple minded windbags!”
“Ignorance is fatal.”