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The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles

by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why Mars? Could the stories have taken place on Venus or Jupiter, or does it have to be Mars? Is Mars a realistic place in the stories? Is it a mix of reality and fantasy?
  2. Do you sense any nostalgia for the past in The Martian Chronicles? Which do you think Bradbury would say is best: the past, the present, or the future? Why?
  3. How does the book's format of interlinked short stories help (or hinder, for that matter) Bradbury's point? How might the book have been different as a traditional novel? 
  4. At least one critic accuses Bradbury of inserting his opinions into the stories too much. Do you agree? And would it even be possible for a writer not to insert his opinions into a story?
  5. Why might the publishers have chosen to replace "Way in the Middle of the Air" with "The Wilderness"? How are the stories similar?
  6. What exactly is "science fiction" about this book? How important is the science—why, for example, couldn't this book simply be fantasy about an entirely different world?
  7. Do the stories seem to change over the course of the book? What's different about the last stories when compared to the first? How does the tone change, if at all?
  8. Could Bradbury be called either an optimist or a pessimist? Which label seems to fit him better?

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