Short essay – Ray Bradbury

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Ray Bradbury‘s The Martian Chronicles.

* These are my views and interpretations only

2010-06-25-the_martian_chronicles

If there’s one thing that became clear after finishing Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, it’s that we humans should stay far, far away from Mars. And not just because it’s a dangerous place for humans to be (as evidenced by the first few rocket landings and the fates that befell those crews), but mostly because humans would ruin Mars.

It’s what we do. The collection of short stories The Martian Chronicles consists of, leave no doubt that humans shouldn’t travel to Mars to settle. There are many compelling reasons for this. I will list the most important ones

1. You can’t truly settle on land (or a planet) that’s already inhabited. This makes for either threats to the humans’ lives or the (near)extinction of the natives. This is evidenced by the killings of the first few rocket crews and the (near)extinction of the Martians by the chicken pox for which they had no antibodies. This is a throwback to the European settlers who inadvertently crippled the natives of the lands they ‘discovered’.

2. We’re humans and think in human ways. Earth is our home and therefore any other planet we’ll ever inhabit will be – forcefully – hammered into an Earth-like environment. We’d take everything that makes Mars Mars and destroy it and change it so completely that it makes Mars Earth. Or Earth-like enough, so the humans would feel at home. We’d bring our Earth laws and our Earth ways of taking care of our planet, instead of accepting that Mars is just different and adapting to the planet.

Humans (and other humanoid creatures) will always view their surroundings from within the framework of their own established world. This is evidenced by the 4th rocket crew not caring about the extinction of the Martians and the poor face-changing Martian who just wanted to be loved dying because of the selfishness of the humans and not even being buried, among other examples.

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