The Martian Chronicles Symbols
Written in 1950 by the author Ray Bradbury, the Martian Chronicles is a fictional story about the planet Earth reaching a point of devastation where everyone else tries to escape from it. The characters are seen escaping from the planet while landing on Mars to start a new life.
The story progresses with Martians fighting against each other throughout the pattern of colonization while trying to defend their planet and protecting it from the arrivals of humans trying to find another place to start a new life.
With different parallel dimensions and various “colonizer versus settlers” theme, the novel offers readers a rollercoaster of events that help bring about a climactic story that reflects the futuristic idea of the author.
There are plenty of symbols present in the novel and each has their own meanings the readers can all learn from.
Martian Chronicles Symbols
· Planet Mars.
This planet is a symbol unto itself in the novel. The devastation of Earth followed by the destruction and chaotic environment on Mars represents a promising place to start a new life but with the price of undergoing a series of challenges before success can be attained. People fleeing from Earth while sending one expedition after the other to Mars represents the planet as a “goal or aim” which, no matter how difficult to attain, remains a prize which can reap promising results of the life ahead.
Rockets are modes of transportation that are highly common to the story. Astronauts rode rockets from the Earth going to Mars after a series of failed attempts, only to be successful in the end. Rockets are also seen as powerful objects of technology which are capable of doing more than transporting passengers and objects into space. Rockets have a direct effect on changing the course of history as seen in the first part of the novel. The exhaust coming from a rocket’s tail transformed a dull and cold place into a fiery hot furnace. At the later part of the story, the rocket is destroyed to prevent any attempts of going back to a ruined planet Earth.
Fire offers a conflicting symbol in the novel mainly because it represents both devastation and success. At the start of the novel, fires were seen to consume the planet Earth at the peak of its authority as a hub of advancement and technology. However, towards the later end of the novel, fires were seen to light up both Earth and Mars as destruction and conflict arise one after the other. Fire is also seen as an inner drive for colonization and advancement which symbolizes the death of an old past and a birth of new beginnings.
The house is seen as a sturdy place of refuge and seclusion which is invisible to the outside forces of destruction. Amidst the presence of atomic war threatening the planet Earth, the house is described as a place which stood still even after the people living inside it have already passed away due to the chaos that engulfed the planet.
The house also symbolizes a place of power or worship. In the earlier part of the story, it is filled with attendants who are immune to the rest of the world. However, this power does not seem to hold up in the end as it was eventually burned down and engulfed by the fire.
· Nuclear War.
The nuclear war is seen as a challenge which consumes and destroys everything in it. It symbolizes the total end-effect of a technological innovation which fell into the wrong hands and eventually was used to destroy even the ones that have created it. The nuclear warfare catapulted the humans to seek another planet as it engulfed everything in destruction. Wars are commonly seen all throughout the novel, but the presence of nuclear warfare at the start of the story propelled humans to avoid a planet that has fallen into ruins through the abuse of its own inhabitants.
· Towns and cities.
As humans arrived on Mars, they started building cities and towns that replicate their life on Earth. These towns and cities symbolize the old habits and preferences of human inhabitants that though, already residing on a new planet, still retain their personal and own way of living.
The Martian Chronicles tells a series of stories that span a futuristic period of almost 30 years of destruction, advancement, colonization and adaptation. It is packed with plenty of lessons that help readers take a glimpse into the mind of its imaginative author, Ray Bradbury.