The Martian Chronicles
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Mr. and Mrs. K had lived by the dead sea for twenty years, and their ancestors had lived in the same house, which turned and followed the sun, flower-like, for ten centuries. ("Ylla," 2)
Okay, so maybe Earth Men are a little obsessed with the past. They've got nothing on the Martians. Can you imagine a family on Earth living in a house for a thousand years? Not even royalty can manage that.
"But then, you always beat me, I remember!" ("The Third Expedition," 168)
"The Third Expedition" is all about memories—specifically, childhood memories. Bradbury doesn't want us to miss this connection, as when he has Captain Black talk about his past with his brother Edward. Similarly, when Captain Black sees his parents, "He ran up the steps like a child to meet them" (171). The problem is, hanging on to these memories gets the whole expedition killed.
They say childhood memories are the clearest. And after they built the town from my mind, they populated it with the most-loved people from all the minds of the people on the rocket! ("The Third Expedition," 205)
Bradbury gets explicit here, calling out childhood memories by name and suggesting that all the "most-loved people" exist in the past. There's no mention of plans for the future—only a longing for the past.