Study Guide

The Martian Chronicles And The Moon Be Still As Bright

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And The Moon Be Still As Bright

  • Here we go: one of the most important stories in the book.
  • The Fourth Expedition lands on Mars. They discover that all the Martians have died out from chickenpox, so no one is going to get killed this time. 
  • Yup, no one is going to die in this story. Definitely.
  • Jeff Spender is awestruck by the culture the Martians left behind; it reminds him of a Byron poem (see "Shout Outs"), which is where this story gets its title.
  • But this other guy on the trip named Biggs thinks it's funny to drink too much and vomit all over Martian buildings. Hee-larious. 
  • So, Spender ends up leaving the expedition, even though Captain Wilder is sort of on his side.
  • But wait, he's back! 
  • Oh. Now he's murdering people, starting with the drunkard Biggs. You see, he's trying to save Mars from the Earth Men. 
  • He approaches a fellow astronaut named Cherokee for help.
  • Cherokee is—can you believe it?—part Cherokee. We're guessing that Spender thinks a guy whose people were nearly wiped out by European settlers bringing smallpox might be sympathetic to his cause.
  • But, he's not. Instead, Captain Wilder leads everyone else in an attempt to kill Spender.
  • Spender and Wilder have a little time out, which mostly consists of Spender explaining how awesome Martians are. 
  • Spender worries that humans will come to Mars and mess it up; they'll give dumb new names to places that already had wonderful old Martian names.
  • Wilder kind of agrees with Spender, but not enough to start killing people to preserve Mars (not even Parkhill, who is another jerk on the expedition).
  • Instead, Wilder kills Spender.
  • The next day Parkhill destroys some Martian stuff for fun and Wilder knocks his teeth out.

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