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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Martian Chronicles

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Okay, so we admit that setting might be a little confusing. Let's start with the easy one: Time: The near future When this book was first published, in 1950, the first story took place almost 5...

Narrator Point of View

The Martian Chronicles is written with two main points of view: third person omniscient and third person limited omniscient. Third Person Omniscient In third person omniscient stories, the narrat...

Genre

Quick: name the last science fiction book to win a Pulitzer. Or a National Book Award. Or a Man Booker Prize. Can't do it, can you? Science fiction is usually considered genre writing—like, when...

Tone

In "The Silent Towns" we get a comic version of the "last man on Earth" story, with Walter Gripp learning to be happy alone instead of living with a hideous woman who makes the mistake of eating...

Writing Style

Evocative (and strange) Poetic language is not usually something we associate with sci-fi writing, but Bradbury has got the evocative language down. He'll often use a strange or unexpected word...

What's Up With the Title?

Easy-peasy. "Martian": takes place on Mars. "Chronicles": record of history, especially things that happened in a particular place. "Martian" is self-explanatory, and "Chronicles" means that this i...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"It is good to renew one's wonder," said the philosopher. "Space travel has again made children of us all." As far as we can tell, this isn't a real quote; it's just something Bradbury thought up...

What's Up With the Ending?

So, we've got kind of a three-part ending here. We start with (1) people abandon Mars and then hit (2) the Earth is a wasteland, and then finally comes to (3) a few people escape back to Mars. Let'...

Tough-o-Meter

You're in for a treat: not only is Bradbury a pretty easy writer, he's a beautiful one. He wrote the stories to be published in science fiction magazines, so he wasn't trying to impress anyone wi...

Plot Analysis

The Humans Are Coming! The Humans Are Coming! When The Martian Chronicles begins, everyone is in the right place—the humans are on Earth (in Ohio, in "Rocket Summer") and the Martians are on M...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

We might say that the main character of The Martian Chronicles is the human race. Each story focuses on a different character, but the book as a whole is about all of us. If we look at it that way,...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

A Man Goes on a Journey In "Rocket Summer" to "The Third Expedition," various people try to make it on Mars—and fail. If this were a classic myth (which it kind of is), this would be the part...

Trivia

Looks like we might be getting a movie version of The Martian Chronicles. Wonder who's going to play Spender? (Source.) For such a depressing writer, Bradbury knew a lot about the happiest pla...

Steaminess Rating

The steamiest moment in The Martian Chronicles is when Ylla dreams of meeting an Earth Man and . . . singing with him ("Ylla," 118). Sure, some of these stories include relationships between adults...

Allusions

The Ben Jonson poem "To Celia " (1616), ("Ylla," 48)The Lord Byron poem "She Walks in Beauty," ("The Summer Night," 6)The Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme, ("The Summer Night," 17)The Lord Byron poem...
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