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The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles


by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles Sadness Quotes

How we cite our quotes: ("Story Name," Paragraph)

Quote #1

Quietly she wished he might one day again spend as much time holding and touching her like a little harp as he did his incredible books. ("Ylla," 10)

Welcome to one of literature's universal themes: a depressing marriage. Maybe this is Bradbury's way of easing us in; after all, a loveless marriage set in a typical 1940s suburb is something that a lot of his readers could probably relate to.

Quote #2

She didn't watch the dead, ancient bone-chess cities slide under, or the old canals filled with emptiness and dreams. Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew... ("Ylla," 76)

Since water is associated with life and growth, you could say that dryness is associated with the opposites—death and decay. Although Bradbury starts Ylla's story focusing on her personal sadness, we soon get a larger glimpse of Mars as a sad, dying planet. Gee, it's almost like her sadness is a symbol for Mars.

Quote #3

She was wearing the same perfume he remembered from the summer when she and Dad had been killed in the train accident. ("The Third Expedition," 173)

Two things to say here: (1) Captain John Black only gets to see his parents because they've already died, so it seems like he can only have this happiness because he's first been sad. (2) The Martians are recreating this from his memory—which means his strongest memory of his parents is probably from the day that they died. That's the kind of subtlety on Bradbury's part that really gets you where it counts. (In the tear ducts.)

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