Ray Bradbury's Vision of Colonization in "The Martian Chronicles"

Seminar Paper, 2004

11 Pages, Grade: A

Abstract or Introduction

Centuries ago, the colonization of the New World represented one of the major aims of European nations and has been praised or criticized ever since. In The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury repeats the past by depicting the conquest and colonization of another planet rather than another continent. Settling on Mars is the only escape left for the population on Earth, which has become a decaying planet facing major environmental, social and political problems. As people have destroyed their former basis for living, they try to find a new one on the foreign planet Mars. History repeats itself during the colonization of Mars, as native populations are decimated and strangeness is familiarized by cultivating the foreign land in order to suit the colonizers’ desires. In his novel, Bradbury questions and criticizes the concept of colonization, thereby drawing on Mars as a symbol of America after its discovery by Columbus, and its inescapable ‘cultivation’ through the Pilgrims. However cruel the history of colonization might be, it is also regarded inevitable for the rest of the world as increasing populations long for more territories and resources. The criticism in the novel primarily centers on how this expansion takes place, namely in a destructive and exploitative way. Bradbury reveals the tensions between inhabitants of Earth and those of Mars, thus questioning the Earthmen’s reckless behavior towards native Martians which serve as a symbol for Native Americans. Moreover, the author criticizes mankind’s irresponsible exploitation of the resources they have been given on Earth, and their ability to destroy nature without even realizing or considering the terrible outcome. The issues to be discussed in the following are those of imperialism, environmental destruction and racism, all being rooted in the mythology of the American westward expansion and the Frontier spirit. By large, Bradbury’s novel also reflects the anxieties of the early 1950s, namely the fear of a nuclear war and the emergence of the Civil Rights movement. A significant basis for the interpretation of The Martian Chroniclesis the approach to the story as an allegory for man’s immoral blindness in the light of the ‘manifest destiny’ and the frontier spirit. [...]


Ray Bradbury's Vision of Colonization in "The Martian Chronicles"
San Diego State University
Science Fiction - Alternate Worlds, Near Futures
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
473 KB
Bradbury, Vision, Colonization, Martian, Chronicles, Science, Fiction, Alternate, Worlds, Near, Futures, Mars, Chroniken, Kolonisierung
Quote paper
Julia Deitermann (Author), 2004, Ray Bradbury's Vision of Colonization in "The Martian Chronicles", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/61104


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