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The Martial Chronicles

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In The Martial Chronicals, Ray Bradbury provides a glimpse

into the future that not only looks at people from a

technological standpoint, but from a human one as well. His

well crafted, almost poetic stories are science fiction in

setting only. They put much more emphasis on the apathy

and inhumanity of modern society, rather than the

technology. (Bryfonski, 68) Ray Dougless Bradbury was

born on August 22, 1920 to Leonard Spaulding and Ester

Bradbury in Waukegan, Illinois. He began his writing at the

young age of twelve, mostly for his own amusement. His

fantastic style

of writing was developed during this time as he

read the Oz books, Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Grimms\'

Fairy Tales, and the works of Poe. In 1934 his family

moved to Los Angeles, where Bradbury attended high

school and joined the Los Angeles Science-Fantasy Society.

While a member, Bradbury published four issues of his own

magazine, Futuria Fantasia. After graduating from high

school in 1938 he took various jobs which allowed him to

devote much of his time to writing. His first story, published

in 1940 by Script magazine, was \"It\'s Not the Heat, It\'s the

Hu\" and established Bradbury\'s popular theme of social

irritation. By 1942, Bradbury was able to earn enough

money writing that he could give up his job selling

newspapers and devote all of his time to what he loved.

(Candee 88) As some critics would agree, the term

\"science-fiction\" does not apply to Bradbury\'s work. Most

of his stories are more along the lines of fantasy with an

intense understanding of human nature. In \"The Green

Morning\", a man named Benjamin Driscoll arives on Mars

looking for a job and a way to fit in. Before long, however,

he faints, as many people do, because of the thin air of

Mars. Upon waking, the first thing he notices is the lack of

trees on the Martian plains. He decides that his job should

be to plant trees. He works for weeks planting trees of all

kinds across the Martian countryside but the lack of rain

leads him to believe that all of his efforts are in vain. That

night the rains come, and when Driscoll awakens the next

morning, he finds a Mars covered with trees over six feet

tall, \"nourished by alien and magical soil\"(Bradbury 77), and

producing a \"mountain river\"(Bradbury 77) of new air. As

Bradbury says, \"Science fiction is really sociological studies

of the future, things that the writer believes are going to

happen by putting two and two together...Fantasy fiction is

the improbable\" (Candee 88). Quite obvioulsy, that story is

not very probable and should not be classified as

science-fictioin. Another exaple of such an improbable story

lies in the chapter entitled \"YLLA\". Bradbury goes to great

lengths in this chapter to describe

the Martian setting using

fastastic imagry such as crystal pillar houses, golden fruits

growing from the walls, and martians with light brown skin

and golden eyes. At one point he even mentions the \"flame

birds\" that the martians use for transportation. Even the

martian names in his stories are unbelievable. He uses names

such as Mr. K, Mr. Xxx, Mr Iii, etc and doesn\'t even bother

making them realistic. But for Bradbury\'s \"purposes the

trappings of science fiction are sufficient--mere stage

settings\" (Riley 43). He uses his sci-fi/fantasy settings as a

medium to express human behaviors and shortcomings. In

the stories of The Martian Chronicals, Bradbury is never

hesitant to criticize

mankind and our \"misapplication of

science to avaricious ends\" (Bryfonski 68). In the chapter

called \"-And the Moon be Still as Bright\", Bradbury details

the arrival of the fourth expedition of men from earth and

their discovery of a dead planet as a result of diseases

transmitted from previous expeditions. A man named

Spender was the sole voice of opposition against all of the

disrespect shown by his crew members toward the once

noble race of Martians. While many of the men are getting

drunk and partying, Spender is grieving and appealling to his

captain, who can do nothing. Spender is pushed over the

edge when a drunk named Biggs gets sick in the middle of



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