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The Martian Chronicles

by: Ray Bradbury

Suggested Essay Topics

What details show that the stories were not necessarily written to be parts of the same novel? Think of different descriptions of the Martian landscape, of different powers ascribed to the Martian race, and of the sheer diversity of stories.

Pinpoint one passage from the novel that you think is overly sentimental, melodramatic, or simply bad. Explain why.

Contrast chicken pox and atomic war as types of apocalypse. Note that, in this novel, both are the fault of Earthlings. Does Bradbury have a political message?

Is Spender a hero? Why or why not?

The novel features many robots that can pass as real humans. It also includes cases of hallucination-inducing telepathy. Discuss the function of truth and reality in the novel.

What is the function of "The Green Morning" as part of the novel? Think of Spender. Given the theme of preservation versus civilization, what might the impact of these trees be on the Martian landscape?

Many of the stories involve parents and their children. How does the theme of family fit into a novel about the frontier? Is it significant that the final story, which is also, in many ways, the most optimistic, is also the only one that prominently features an intact family?

Would you characterize The Martian Chronicles as a work of science fiction? How does it compare to other works within this genre?