Martian Chronicles


Word Count: 1353

The Issues of Past and Present!




If the Martian Chronicles had been written in the 1999’s instead of fifty years ago, many issues and problems would change. Ray Bradbury wrote his book in 1946. In it he wrote about problems such as censorship, man’s cruelty to man, and loneliness. Each issue shows up in one or two of his chronicles. All of his issues affect every one of his characters in many different ways.

Censorship is a main problem or issue today, and in the book it shows up in one of his chronicles, “Usher II”. In this chronicle, a man builds a house of Usher. One man points (he was from a group that was against all forms of imagination) out, “No books, no houses, nothing to be produced which in any way suggests ghosts, vampires, fairies, or any creature of imagination.” Yet in this house he saw all of these things and more.

The chronicle also brings up the issue of censoring certain books by authors such as Edgar Allen Poe. The house that is built is based on a house that is in one of Poe’s books. The unimaginative man is ignorant to the facts of Edgar A. P.’s books and does not even recognize the kind of death he was about to face that was directly copied out of a book. If it were to happen today and now, the only books that would be allowed would be schoolbooks, and even those books could not contain theories.

That is the way censorship is brought up in the book. Today, however, it affects more than just books. It is used in movies, TV, news, magazines, and the Internet. Words, obscenity, and some vulgar things can be kept from the viewing audience. They can keep certain people, those seventeen and younger from seeing movies, TV, or Internet sites. In the book one character makes a point of saying, “ignorance is fatal.”

Man’s cruelty to man is another issue in the Martian Chronicles that is and was a problem in the real world. In the book, it shows up in three chronicles, “Ylla”, “The Off Season”, and “Way in the Middle of the Air”. “Ylla” and “The Off Season” are more of family cruelty, while “Way in the Middle of the Air” deals more with racism. Both are reasons that people get hurt and even die for no reason. Or for a stupid reason like color or gender.

In “Ylla”, Ylla, or Mrs. K., is noticing that her marriage is not as fun as it used to be and her and her husband don’t go out anymore. But one day she has a dream or people from earth (she lives on Mars) coming to visit Mars. She wants to meet the earthmen, but makes the mistake of telling Mr. K., or Yll. Yll gets jealous and demands that Ylla not leave the house. He thinks that she has fallen in love with the earthling. While she is at home waiting like a good wife, he goes out and shoots the men, not even thinking of his wife.

The form of cruelty in that chronicle is less physical and more on the note of just trying to keep your wife happy. Yll did not even regard his wife and only had his own intentions intended upon. In “The Off Season” it is more of not listening to your wife when she is right and even a little bit of physical violence.

In “The Off Season”, Sam Parkhill pushes his wife down and won’t listen to her when they are in trouble, even though she was right most of the time. The entire time, she tells him what she thinks he should do, and he doesn’t listen to her. One incident happened when aliens (who were really nice) were chasing them and the wife told him to stop and talk to the aliens. He just pushed her down and kept on going, and when he finally did stop, the aliens gave him a present. Proving that the wife was right the entire time.

Today, family cruelty happens more often than it should. Husband on wife, wife on husband, or parents on children are the most common. Abused children are