In The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury ties in historical events and uses them to make certain points about human society. The three main topics he explores are colonization, technological advancement and censorship. These issues arose during the 1900s, throughout a significant part of Bradbury’s life. They had an extremely influential role on human society and way of life. Competition between countries and the protection of national ideals were catalysts for technological advancements and brought new types of problems to the world that had never been there before. During this time, the American government began to control and regulate more parts of life. Colonization and growth continued to eliminate cultures that were unable to protect themselves and for the first time, mankind had created a weapon that had the potential to destroy the entire civilized world. He utilizes these events to show how man strives to expand and advance, but ultimately ends up destroying culture and important aspects of life in the process. This paper will analyze three topics addressed in Bradbury’s novel. Each topic will broken down into their historical reference, incorporation in the Martian Chronicles and the point Bradbury is making about human nature.
Throughout history, more powerful and organized nations have tried to expand by taking over smaller governments. Colonization seems progressive for the superior country, but as it moves in and takes over, it tends to impose its own beliefs and lifestyles on the natives. Rather than create a mixture of different cultures, colonized nations are forced to change and abandon their own ways of life. After early colonizers came to the Americas from Britain and established the United States, they started to look westward to further expand the new country. Native Americans, however, had been living in these areas building up civilizations since the first several centuries AD. When the colonizers’ and natives’ paths finally crossed, American Indians almost immediately faced threats to their way of life. The natives to the Great Plains area heavily relied on buffalo as their main food source. As settlers started moving in to this area, they began killing the buffalo in large numbers. Additionally, farmers, miners, and ranchers took up various hunting grounds; land that was supposedly guaranteed for use by the locals. Great Plains Indians were forced to attack settlers in order to protect these lands so they could survive. Although they were acting in defense, the United States government saw this as a problem and decided something had to be done. In 1867 the Indian Peace Commission was founded, which proposed creating two large reservations for containing the Indians. These government-run reservations housed many Native Americans against their will, with no way of getting out. Eventually, they became breeding grounds for poverty, corruption and alcohol abuse. The United States government had successfully taken away the homes and way of life from an entire group of people. They put them in cities and neighborhoods that screamed depravity and now, were going to try to assimilate them into American life. The Dawes act of 1887 was intended to help Natives be absorbed into American culture as landowners and citizens in order for the situation to improve. They were given vast amounts of land depending on family size to promote farming. However, not all natives had the agricultural skills required to successfully grow crops; therefore the act did not benefit nearly as many people it was intended to. By this time, the majority of Native Americans now were living an entirely new lifestyle, forced to abandon their old way of life. Bradbury uses the history of colonization as the premise for part of the book. He also uses the story to convey the effects it has had on consumed countries. In the book, a team of men is sent from earth on a mission to Mars. Their objective is to explore and analyze the planet for...
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