The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles Theme of Home
In The Martian Chronicles, home is where the… well, actually, where is it? Home is where one belongs (identity) and where one has a past (memory and the past). None of the settlers ever seem to feel like Mars is home, although presumably the Martians do. But home can also change. Since one of the main plots in the interchapters is the movement of humans looking for a new place to settle, we can say that one of the main motivations in the book is the desire to find a home. But are any of the characters we see at home happy where they are? Is it really possible to return home? And can home—like the automated house—go on without us?
Questions About Home
- Think about the homes depicted in The Martian Chronicles. We see Ylla's unhappy home, Captain Black's deadly fake home, and the abandoned automated home in "There Will Come Soft Rains." What makes these homes unhappy? What examples of happy homes do we see, if any?
- What makes a home? Does it need to be connected to one's past (like a childhood home)? Does it need to contain one's loved ones? Does it need to be a place where one is in control? Is there some other option or some combination of factors that make a home?
- Most people would agree that Bradbury is thinking about the history of the American frontier. But if humans have trouble making a home on Mars, does that mean they also have trouble making a home on Earth? Is "home" something like an ideal that we can never achieve?
Chew on This
In The Martian Chronicles, the search for a home and happiness drives the characters more than any other motivation.
No characters in The Martian Chronicles are presented as being at home. Home is about comfort, and none of the characters are truly comfortable where they are.