Study Guide

The Martian Chronicles The Earth Men

By Ray Bradbury

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The Earth Men

  • Captain Jonathan Williams and his three-man crew arrive on Mars and just want someone to pat them on the back for being awesome space cowboys. 
  • All the Martians they meet seem unimpressed with their amazing trip.
  • The housewife Mrs. Ttt is more worried about her baking. 
  • Mr. Aaa is too busy for them. 
  • A little girl would rather play with her spider. 
  • And Mr. Iii just wants them to fill out forms.
  • Sounds a lot like an ordinary day on Earth.
  • Finally, the Earth Men meet some Martians who are impressed enough to throw them a party.
  • Oh, but it turns out these Martians are crazy. 
  • Since Martians are telepathic, they can make other people see their hallucinations. So, all those unimpressed Martians just thought the Earth Men were crazy, hallucinating Martians.
  • Well, actually, they think Williams is hallucinating and that his three-man crew is part of his hallucination.
  • Even the psychologist Mr. Xxx thinks Captain Williams is crazy. 
  • Since there's no way to cure this sort of craziness, Xxx shoots Williams. Well, obviously.
  • The weird thing is, the other men still exist after Williams dies—even though Xxx thought they were just hallucinations.
  • No worries, Xxx will just shoot them, too.
  • Except that it turns out Xxx can still see the dead men and the rocket. Naturally, he thinks he's gone crazy, too. 
  • So he does the only logical thing and shoots himself.

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