| Quote #1
"We'd like someone to give us the key to the city or something like that, and we'd like somebody to shake our hands and say 'Hooray' and say 'Congratulations, old man!'" ("The Earth Men," 99)
Well, this seems like a silly dream of Captain Williams. It also clues us into the problem with these early explorers—they're obsessed with recognition for their deeds, but they don't particularly care about what they do to get it.
| Quote #2
"Well," said the captain, "it's simply that we never thought we'd find a thing like this on Mars." ("The Third Expedition," 122)
Okay, we were pretty hard on Captain Williams (you know, because he's clueless), but we'll admit that it's hard to plan for everything that might happen. Where Captain Williams fails is that he cannot change his ideas once the plan (go to Mars and celebrate) meets reality (the Martians could care less).
| Quote #3
They would not talk about the return trip. Someone brought that up, but they told him to keep quiet. ("—And the Moon Be Still as Bright," 12)
We're honestly confused here: why don't these men talk about their return trip to Earth? Is it because there's no plan to return? Is it because they're afraid the plan won't work out? Or do they just want to enjoy their own success in getting to Mars? (We kind of suspect they're not going back. Seriously. How are they going to get that rocket back up in the air?)