“Dark they were, and Golden-Eyed” Literary Analysis
In Dark They Were, And Golden Eyed, Ray Bradbury uses plot and character to express the theme that fear creates resistance to change. From the outset of the story, the main character Mr. Bittering hesitates embracing Mars and its environment, showing his apprehension upon landing. Bittering recognizes the desperate circumstances as “sweat poured from his hands and his face and his body; he was drenched in the hotness of his fear” (p. 237). Instead of Mr. Bittering understanding the value of his family and the thousand other Earthlings that transported to Mars, he feels that he is “alone” and fears the worst that he will be stuck on the red planet.
As the plot develops, Mr. Bittering’s wife and children evolve and his friends are relaxed and accepting of the surroundings; however, he insists on building a rocket, determined to return to Earth. Upon seeing his friends chatting on the steps of the grocery store, he wants to scream out, “Aren’t you frightened? Aren’t you afraid?” and then asks, “Will you help me build a rocket?” which only brought a response of laughter from the group of men (pgs. 241-242). The calmness and relaxing attitudes of the gentlemen indicate their willingness to adapt to the new environment, while Mr. Bittering still has fear, causing him to develop a way to return to Earth in an effort to avoid change.
Eventually, Mr. Bittering finds calmness in the waters and the marble villa surroundings. A visit leads to a permanent move, but the evolution was a reluctant move that he gradually accepts. While working on the rocket, Mr. Bittering reflects on the blue marble villa admitting that the rocket seemed less important, but his inner conflict “No! cried part of himself, deep down, put away, locked tight, suffocating” exhibits his continued reluctance to change and the fear of the unknown (p. 248-249). Even up to the point of saying good-bye to the cottage and leaving behind his...
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