Martian Chronicles

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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In Ray Bradbury's novel, The Martian Chronicles, one of the main themes explored is gender. Since the novel was written in the mid 20th century, Bradbury's generation still had much to learn about feminism and gender equality. Yet, in reflecting on the novel, which assumed that even women in the next century would still answer to men, many readers feel that science fiction uses its cultural and political weight to keep down the power of women. In the case of The Martian Chronicles, men continue to be shown in the future as the pioneers of scientific movement, while women are the ones to follow in the footsteps.

This novel is about the exploring of mars through a series of four expeditions. All four of theses expeditions consist of a male only crew. Throughout the story there are several instances of sexism, which with be shown and explained in the following paragraphs.

The first important aspect to note about the novel is that it is predicted that men make all of the future expeditions to Mars. Even as the fourth expedition arrives, women are only mentioned in discussion of the men's accomplishments and journeys. The personality of men are described as the "first" men, while the narrator explains shortly that "Everyone knew who the first women would be," suggesting that the first women would naturally be the wives and children of the men who "conquered" Mars. The problem with this description is that it gives no place to women as entrepreneurs in any field, since it seems that all men, from doctors to hot dog venders, are the only ones making the passage to the new world. Even once people are habitants of Mars, males are still looked at as the adventurous ones. For example, the short chapter...