The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: ("Story Name," Paragraph)
Around the rocket in four directions spread the little town, green and motionless in the Martian spring. There were white houses and red brick ones, and tall elm trees blowing in the wind, and tall maples and horse chestnuts. And church steeples with golden bells silent in them. ("The Third Expedition," 7)
One of the most mysterious stories is "The Third Expedition," which shows us an Earth-like town on Mars before there are any humans living there. (We know this, but the characters in the story don't. This sets up some dramatic irony—which is when we know something the characters don't.) So this looks like home, but it's actually the farthest thing from home you can imagine. As Herr Sigmund Freud might say, it's unheimlich.
In spite of himself, Captain John Black felt a great peace come over him. ("The Third Expedition," 60)
When we first read this story, we don't know that this is a trap. But there's still something a little menacing in the fact that Captain Black feels peace "in spite of himself." Hint: if you're on an alien planet, it's probably a good idea to stay just a little on edge.
"Anything that's strange is no good to the average American." ("—And the Moon Be Still as Bright," 219)
Spender makes a connection between home and foreignness here: when you're at home, nothing is strange to you. But is this true of all the characters? Do they all just want to feel at home and comfortable, surrounded by familiar things?