Stranger in a Strange Land

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Anthony Stroman
Dr. Ardaiolo
GNED 102
March 8, 2007

Michael Smith and his Learning of the Earth Culture

Michael Valentine Smith is a fictional character in the novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Smith is a very interesting person because he was brought to Earth, from Mars, and because of the way he was conceived. Michael Smith is an American that grew up thinking as a Martian. Smith was brought to Earth after the spaceship named the Envoy tried to reach Mars. The spaceship Champion went on a voyage to Mars to determine if there was any life that developed there. To their surprise, they discovered Smith. Smith was born to two Americans from the Envoy, but Smith was raised in the Martian culture. There are a lot of differences between the two cultures. One of the differences is the way that people are born. On Earth people are born by way of sexual intercourse, but on Mars when the "Old Ones" think that it is time for some more Martians to be born, it is that time. Even though Smith is considered to be a Martian he was born through sexual intercourse out of wedlock by two Americans. Michael Valentine Smith is trying to learn about himself through self-education and the community, but he does not succeed because he fails to explain about himself to others.

The first thing that Smith has to adapt to is the education of himself. That means that Smith has to get used to his surroundings and try to learn the human culture. Smith being raised in the Martian culture did not teach him to think like someone on Earth. On Mars they taught Smith not to live with two of the most dangerous feelings. These feelings are called jealousy and greed. Jealousy and greed are the two factors behind this novel. Being that Smith was a native of Mars, when Smith is recovered General Douglas automatically wants to lay claim to Mars even though America only has one of the many occupants. Since Smith is a Martian and has not learned of any of this type of behavior, he does not know...
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