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The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles

by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Change

The Martian Chronicles is about people confronting a new world. But will they change this world or will they themselves change? Throughout the book we see examples of things changing: the rocket ch...

Art and Culture

You can live without art, sure—but would you want to? The Martian Chronicles makes a strong case that life without art and culture is pretty meaningless. Several characters we like (Ylla and Spen...

Identity

Identity in The Martian Chronicles is not just a question of masks and playacting, although it's that too. (Stendahl uses robot lookalikes to trick everyone at the party, even though it would serio...

Memory and the Past

There's a reason VH1 keeps running I Love the 80s marathons: nostalgia is big business, and The Martian Chronicles knows that people love to reminisce about a better, more neon-tastic past. Many ch...

Isolation

In The Martian Chronicles, you can choose your own isolation adventure: you can be totally alone, like Gripp at the beginning of "The Silent Towns;" or you can just feel alone, like Spender at the...

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 f...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Even the worse humans have dreams, hopes, and plans. In The Martian Chronicles, every major character has some goal to increase his happiness (or avoid unhappiness): Yll in "Ylla" is trying to prev...

Sadness

A psychologist kills his patients and then himself ("The Earth Men"); the Third Expedition is ambushed; Wilder ends up killing Spender; Parkhill doesn't get his hot dog stand; the Martian dies when...

Freedom

In The Martian Chronicles, freedom is most interesting when it's taken away. For instance, the government passes a law (banning books), restricting the freedom of a guy like Stendahl. So he gets re...

Man and the Natural World

Bradbury uses Mars and the Martians as a contrast to the way Earth people (primarily Americans) deal with the world around them. And, unsurprisingly, Americans don't come off too well. As Spender p...

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