Timeline cover

The Martian Chronicles

  • Rocket Summer

    Rocket Summer
    A rocket goes off in Ohio, causing the winter weather to suddenly go warm. "Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the artwork" (p. 1). The quote encapsulates four things about the chapter: the fact that it is the rocket causing the temperature changes, that people know and understand it is the rocket doing so, that the temperature change is sudden, and that the narrator feels negatively about how the rocket affects the environment.
  • Ylla (part one)

    Ylla (part one)
    Mrs. K (Ylla) has a very realistic recurring dream which bothers her husband immensely, and when the beggining of the dream comes to fruition, it is implied Mr. K kills the Earth man from it. "He entered the room and looked at her for only a moment.Then he snapped the weapon bellows open, cracked out two dead bees, heard them spat on the floor as they fell, stepped on them, and placed the empty bellows gun in the corner of the room as Ylla bent down and tried... to pick up...glass (p. 16).
  • Ylla (part two)

    Ylla (part two)
    The quote encapsulates the chapter because in it is the implication of Mr. K's violence and controlling behavior towards Mrs. K. The shattered, broken pieces of glass represent the marriage between the two: stomped on by Mr. K and futilely attempted to be salvaged by Mrs. K. Also, Mrs. K's actions are metaphorically linked to her attempt to make her dream come true of being saved from a broken marriage by a man who would love her, and a man who would be exciting to be around.
  • The Summer Night

    The Summer Night
    The Martians feel the effect of a rocket landing full of Earth men, telepathically receiving information (such as songs) from the minds of the astronauts. "And when they blew again upon their golden horns the strange music came forth and passed slowly over the audience, which now talked loud and stood up. 'What's wrong with you?'" (p.19) This quote fits the chapter because it encapsulates the sudden, widespread telepathic sweep of the Earth songs and how the Martians freaked out about it.
  • The Earth Men (part one)

    The Earth Men (part one)
    Men from Earth land on Mars and are disappointed at being coldly received by its people, slowly realizing that they have been labeled "insane" and are eventually shot by the Martian who runs the asylum. "It was night. The large hall lay quiet and dimly illuminated by hidden light sources in the transparent walls. The four Earth Men sat around a wooden table, their bleak heads bent over their whispers... There were little stirs in the dark corners...one of the...men would try the...door" p. 33
  • Earth Men (part two)

    Earth Men (part two)
    The quote fits for the whole chapter because the tone is affected by the despair in the men. The quote is ominous in that it is night and there are stirs in the dark corners, indicating that the Martians mean harm to the men (which they later find out). Also, at the end of the quote, the hopeful tenacity of the men peeks out as they try the door over and over again in spite of its known futility.
  • The Taxpayer

    The Taxpayer
    A man wishes to go to Mars who is prevented from doing so, using the fact that he is a taxpaying citizen as a point in his argument to support his going. "Wait for me! he cried. Don't leave me here on this terrible world, I've got to get away; there's going to be an atom war! Don't leave me on Earth!" (p. 41) The quote expresses the desperation of not only the specific man, but all people wanting to go to Mars as an escape from what the humans had done to the Earth: to culture and environment
  • The Third Expedition

    The Third Expedition
    The third expedition of men go to Mars, but this time it seems that the planet is the hometown of each astronaut. The Martians disguise themselves as the deceased loved ones of the Earth men, eventually killing all of them after gaining their trust.
    "He lifted himself in bed and listened. The night was very quiet. The music had stopped. The wind had died. His brother lay sleeping beside him...His brother's voice was quite cold. 'I said, where do you think you're going?'" (p.61-62)
    ^this is tone
  • and the Moon be Still as Bright (pt. 1)

    and the Moon be Still as Bright (pt. 1)
    The fourth expedition of humans travel to Mars to find all of the Martians dead. Spender, one of the group, grows to sympathize with the extinct population to the extent that he murders fellow crew members to avoid human colonization of Mars. Captain Wilder shoots him, even though he harbors similar sentiments.
    "They quit trying too hard to destroy everything, to humble everything. They blended religion and art and science because, at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle
  • and the Moon be Still as Bright (pt. 2)

    and the Moon be Still as Bright (pt. 2)
    we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle. They never let science crush the aesthetic and the beautiful." (p. 88) The quote represents the chapter as a whole because it explores the idea of balance and of being able to have multiple perspectives. The humans, as colonizers, only have the one perspective (ex. to "conquer" or "explore") and destroy more than they create. This chapter as a whole encompasses and explains the theme of the novel.
  • The Settlers

    The Settlers
    This chapter is very short, only explaining the fact that humans began to come in waves to Mars. "...when the United States shrank to a misted island and the entire planet Earth became a muddy baseball tossed away, then you were alone, wandering in the meadows of space, on your way to a place you couldn't imagine." (p.96)
    The quote encompasses the chapter in that it expresses the feelings one has when becoming an explorer, describing how the humans felt as individuals when traveling to Mars.
  • The Green Morning

    The Green Morning
    A man named Driscoll plants trees and plants all over a patch of Mars, and he marvels at the sudden growth of the plants after just one night and rain.
    "Mars was a place as unpredictable as time." (p. 100)
    The quote fits the chapter in that the trees grow outside of the confines of time, and Driscoll is incredibly surprised at that, just as the other humans are surprised about Mars' features.
  • The Locusts

    The Locusts
    Again, a very short chapter, the human rockets are compared to locusts, which are known to swarm and be invasive.
    "And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye... mouths fringed with nails so they resembled steel-toothed carnivores..." (p. 103)
    Further comparing the humans to lesser creatures, the quote expresses how humans in their colonization of mars were acting animalistic for selfish purposes.
  • Night Meeting

    Night Meeting
    A human is going to a party when he chances upon a living Martian, but both realize that the other is in a different time.
    "'What does it matter who is Past or Future... for what follows will follow, tomorrow or in ten thousand years.'" (p. 113) When the Martian says this, he is referring to the recurring motif of perspective in the novel and the quote is representative of the chapter since both characters cannot reach a consensus about who exists in what time, which doesn't matter.
  • The Shore

    The Shore
    This chapter simply brings up the fact that the people who travel to Mars are mainly American.
    "The second men should have traveled from other countries with other accents with other ideas... [but] The rest of the world was buried in war or the thoughts of war" (p. 155) The quote represents the chapter through its tone and the idea that the humans who came to Mars shouldn't have been of "one breed;" America's imperialistic ethnocentrism was too much for Mars and its inhabitants.
  • Interim

    Interim
    People have been successful in making Mars very like Earth, in culture and in the structure of the towns.
    "It was as if... a whirlwind twister of Oz-like proportions had carried the entire town off to Mars..." (p.116) The imagery of the quote, simultaneously being an allusion to The Wizard of Oz, identifies how strange it was that the humans were able to essentially "copy and paste" human civilization from Earth to Mars.
  • The Musicians

    The Musicians
    Human children visit the ruins of the Martian civilization and play with the remains of their bodies, doing so until the fire department turned the remains into dust.
    "...the boys pushed and heaved and fell in the leaves, in the death that had turned the dead to flakes and dryness, into a game played by boys..." (p.118) The boys' flippant and disrespectful treatment of the Martian corpses is the main focus in this chapter, and it relates to the humans' activity; people treat Mars like a toy.
  • Way in the Middle of the Air (pt. 1)

    Way in the Middle of the Air (pt. 1)
    This chapter takes place in the American South where African Americans are leaving all at once. One man is angry that they are all leaving, making a scene trying to keep an
    African American youth who works for him on Earth. He eventually "loses," the youth going to Mars.
    "'I can't figure out why they left NOW. With things lookin' up. I mean, every day they got more rights. What they WANT anyway? Here's the poll tax gone, and more and more states passin' anti-lynchin' bills...What MORE they
  • Way in the Middle of the Air (pt. 2)

    Way in the Middle of the Air (pt. 2)
    they want? They make almost as good money as a white man, but there they go." (p. 128) More obvious in this quote is the intense racism going on in the American South, both in the future Bradbury has imagined and during the time period the novel was written. However, on a deeper level, Mr. Teece (#1 racist white guy) represents the humans that are desperately trying to control the world around them, creating unnatural "laws" and norms that in fact are damaging to the natural state of things.
  • Period: to

    The Naming of Names

    This chapter is about how the humans have taken it upon themselves to rename everything on Mars so that it sounds familiar, instead of keeping the Martian names.
    "They began to plan people's lives and libraries; they began to instruct and push about the very people who had come to Mars to get away..." (p.137) The quote encapsulates not only the tendency for humans to control others (people and environment) but also the irony that humans hate to feel controlled. This produces mixed emotions.
  • Usher II (pt. 1)

    Usher II (pt. 1)
    A man travels to Mars and builds a house that resembles the mansion depicted in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." He does this to lure in the humans who wronged him on Earth, killing them all at his own party. "And then, with everything well on its way to Safety, the Spoil-Funs, the people with Mercurochrome for blood and iodine-colored eyes, came now to set up their Moral Climates and dole out goodness to everyone." (p. 149). The undeveloped theme of control vs. freedom
  • Usher II (pt. 2)

    Usher II (pt. 2)
    is explored in the chapter, and the conflict between the humans travelling to Mars and the humans attempting to regulate everything is identified in the quote. While I think the regulators were in the wrong (though at least beginning their jobs with good intentions), I don't like the fact that they were killed. There isn't a happy medium with the characters in the Martian Chronicles; it is either kill because someone is different or be killed because you are thought of as different.
  • The Old Ones

    The Old Ones
    The chapter is a mention of the elderly travelling to Mars.
    "And what more natural than that, at last, the old people come to Mars..." (p. 157) I don't understand the purpose of this chapter but for the reason that it continues an aspect of realism; not forgetting the old people makes the novel a little bit more believable.
  • The Martian

    The Martian
    A single Marian is discovered, though it looks like the person that each human misses or desires. The Martian, looking to be loved, becomes overwhelmed with everyone's projected desire and dies. "'I'm happy here, I'm loved, even as you loved me. I am what I am, and I take what can be taken; too late now, they've caught me." (p.169) This captures the mindset of the Martian in general, which is what drives the plot in this chapter.
  • The Luggage Store

    The Luggage Store
    The Big War begins on Earth and the luggage store that hasn't seen much activity now has so much business the supply is gone. "Two billion people living on that light? Unbelievable! War? We don't hear the explosions." (p. 175) The detachment in the quote matches the detachment that the humans feel on Mars for their home planet, in spite of efforts to recreate Earth. This indicates how those efforts were unsuccessful; the humans are in a foreign environment and have become foreigners themselves.
  • The off Season

    The off Season
    Sam Parkhill from the fourth expedition has made a hot dog stand and is very proud of it, but his paranoia about the Martians causes him to kill two of them. The Big War begins and he realizes he won't have customers. "'I'm sorry what happened... you know it was purely the circumstances of Fate.'" (p.180) This chapter makes me angry, as Sam attempts to justify MURDER by blaming it on fate, which is what the humans do when they colonize. The paranoia of Sam relates to that on Earth, making war.
  • The Watchers

    The Watchers
    The Earth catches on fire due to the war. People on Mars finally realize the consequences of war. "COME HOME." (p. 193) The desperation in the call from Earth clearly expresses regret (while the call more likely wanted people to come home to help with reconstruction and/or war efforts, it has a feeling synonymous with giving up and returning to the beginning of things). The humans clear out of Mars to try and salvage what was destroyed by their own kind.
  • The Silent Town

    The Silent Town
    Walter starts going crazy on his own on Mars, and he seeks solace with a woman he finds, but he quickly becomes repulsed by her and decides to remain alone. "And when once in a while over the long years the phone rings-- he doesn't answer." (p. 206) This chapter is interesting because it explores freedom vs. company while the other parts of the novel have been about freedom vs. control. I felt bad for Genevieve but she was really annoying.
  • The Long Years

    The Long Years
    Hathaway from the fourth expedition has been on Mars with his robot family for many years, and he is pleasantly surprised to see Captain Wilde one day. Upon meeting him, Hathaway feels at peace enough to die. The robot family remains living on Mars. "'Yes, they've as much right to- to life as you or I or any of us.'" (p.219) The quote is another expression of Wilde's empathetic morality in the novel, indicating that humans have the capacity to make the correct decisions about the lives of others
  • There Will Come Soft Rains

    There Will Come Soft Rains
    A house on Earth is still functioning without its residents years after their deaths, though it is finally brought down by fire and rain. "Among the ruins, one wall stood alone. Within the wall, a last voice said...'Today is August 5, 2026...'" (p.228) This quote especially indicates that the house is representative of the human tenacity for survival in spite of surrounding disaster. Humanity does survive the war and the essential destruction of Earth, and the fire is representative of cleansing
  • The Million-Year Picnic

    The Million-Year Picnic
    One family travels to Mars in an emergency rocket to escape Earth and essentially begin humanity again, planning to meet up with another refugee family. "She kept looking ahead to see what was there, and, not being able to see it clearly enough, she looked backward toward her husband, and through his eyes, reflected then, she saw what was ahead..." (p.232) This quote is representative of the fear that the family has of the unknown, though they move forward in hope since they have one another.