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Native Americans, Bradbury And The Scorn Of The Fbi

1869 words - 8 pages

In the twenty-first century, schools all over the country teach that Native Americans were here before what are now considered “Americans.” These new Americans arrived by boats, bringing with them disease and manifest destiny, conquering the land that was once called home by thousands of tribes. Nevertheless, through extortionist deals, mass murder and small pox, the land was evetually vacated, leaving the new Americans to take their place and flourish. While schools teach the same basic story of the first thanksgiving and Squanto, what is not remembered is any semblance of the culture. Feather headdresses, bows and arrows, and war calls while playing a game of “Cowboys and Indians” are the ...view middle of the document...

On the other hand, the actions of the Martians, while intially cruel, are indeed humanizing and critical of the explorers. The landing begins on Earth where, “The rocket landed on a lawn of green grass…Further up on the green stood a tall brown Victorian house, quiet in the sunlight” (32). While the third expedition is traveling through space and finally able to land, Bradbury gives the illusion that the astronauts have landed back at the launch site in Iowa. The simplicity and homeliness of a lone house resting in the sun is enough for the astronauts to be off their guard. Nevertheless, as learned in the second story, Martians have the ability to make projections of anything, family members, rockets or entire neighborhoods complete with all of the dead relatives that one might have longed for. An entire town of Martians is working at producing what is a heaven for the explorers. As one crewmember says to the Captain upon questioning the legitimacy of the town, “It’s a world and we get a second chance. Nobody told us why” (41). The blissful ignorance of the astronauts comforting for both them and the reader. The martians are allowing for the explorers to have a second chance at life, to have the conversations that they wish before they die. While no one tells them why, there is no need to question in their blissful state. Furthermore, at the end of the story, once the imposter Americans have slain the noble explorers, the Martians have an American funeral. Even after they made 16 graves for the dead, “The mayor made a little sad speech, his face sometimes looking like the mayor, sometimes like something else” (Bradbury 47). His image wavers nonchalantly as he makes a sincere speech about the bravery of the astronauts. Ending with a little sad speech is so human, respecting death and even beyond the wavering, the mayor still seems human given his actions. The Martians have replicated the society, and although they killed the settlers, their respect for them once they have passed is humanizing. In a time of eradication of cultures and bodies in the streets, such respect for the enemy would not be tolerated by true settlers. While antagonists intitially, the Martians have abilities far greater than science could have possibly conceived of and their use of such abilities to make the Americans feel at home is noble. One last night with your loved ones, dying in your sleep would be the dream for many who are about to pass on. The Martians know the human desire and respect that, creating a world that should not be trampled; that is, until the fourth expedition arrived.
The fourth expedtion’s partying and disrespect for Martian culture in “-And The Moon Still Be As Bright” eventually drives Spender to express Bradbury’s defiant opinion. Bradbury demonstrates the complexity of Martian civilization and need to protect it through Spender’s daredevil actions and accusations of his crewmates. Accusatory language and solemn reflections frame the sympathies...

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