Science Fiction Ray Bradbury

Topics: Colonialism, Mars in fiction, Mars Pages: 3 (970 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Throughout the history of time, colonization has played a key role in the establishment of many powerful civilizations. Critic Robin Reid claims that “Bradbury's novel (the Martian Chronicles) cannot be considered as expressing a completely postcolonial point of view.” However, Reid is underplaying the extent to which Bradbury emphasizes his post colonialist theme in The Martian Chronicles. His futuristic take on human domination in his short stories “June 2001,” and “February 2002” portrays everything post colonialism stands for: the extinction of nearly the entire Martian race, human inhabitance of the land, and extensive use of Mars’s resources. The novel paints a vivid picture of a foreign society in which the humans’ natural curiosity of Mars quickly turns to selfish ambition to rampantly colonize the Martian culture and land. Bradbury, in turn, gives us a theoretical sense of how the mistakes from our past may very well be the mistake of our future.

The preface of post colonization in The Martian Chronicles begins with the eradication of the Martian species, serving as a commencement to the ultimate demise of their culture. By the time the fourth expedition from America reaches Mars, they arrive only to find nearly the entire Martian race wiped out of existence after contracting chicken pox, “A disease that doesn’t even kill children on Earth,” (Bradbury, 51). Though the spread of disease was unintentional, its affects were irreversible. Due to the Martians’ lack of a human-like immune system, they were not capable of withstanding the diseases Americans are immune to. A virus that gives a human no more than small itchy bumps on their skin, will burn a Martian’s body “Black and dries them out to brittle flakes,” (Bradbury, 50). It seems that Bradbury purposely paralleled the Martians’ gruesome chicken pox epidemic to the spread of small pox among the Native Americans, for the purpose of showing us how such indigenous and complex civilizations can fall so...

Cited: Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. New York: Bantam, 1979. Print
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