Stranger In A Strange Land Essay

1307 words - 5 pages

The novel Stranger in a Strange Land has a combination of two totally different cultures. The language, the life, and the people are tremendously different. There were many interesting philosophies introduced by Valentine Michael Smith in the book. Valentine was the son of Captain Michael Brant and Dr. Mary Jane Lyle Smith. His mother died in labor, and her husband, Dr. Ward Smith cut the throat of his captain, and Valentine?s father, before taking his own life. Valentine Michael Smith was a Martian by man.?This man Smith--This ?man!? Can?t you see that he is not? is an intelligent creature with the ancestry of man, but he is more Martian than man...He thinks like a Martian.He?s been brought up by a race which has nothing in common with us--they don?t even have sex. He?s a man by ancestry, a Martian by environment.(Heinlein,12) Michael Smith adjusted to life on Earth better than expected. At first he did not thoroughly understand things that humans took for granted, but he soon came to understand it?s fullness. Not only did Smith understand it, but he became determined to educate the human culture on the ways of Martian life in order to make it a better place to live. Smith introduced several interesting concepts to the people of Earth, but it was up to each individual to decide to either accept his beliefs or rebel against them. ?his purpose was to create oneness...?My nest is yours and your nest is mine.?(Heinlein,62) Grok is the most important word in the Martian language. In English, Mike believed that grok meant drink, yet it was much more. It meant fear, love, hate, and you cannot hate something unless you got it, or understand it so thoroughly that you merge with it and it merges with you. Mike is also a firm believer that he who groks is God because it is a symbol for taking responsibility for oneself.The main idea of discorporation was that a being on Mars was considered honorable if he grew to be old and then let his body be eaten and cherished by his brothers. Cannibalism was a custom to be taken pride on Mars.Michael?s first encounter of a woman was the nurse, Jill Boardman. He had never experienced, or understood the opposite sex, and the relationship between a man and a woman. He hoped that Jill would explain the differences in each other and the reasoning for this difference.2 ?Perhaps he had so deeply mistaken right conduct in dealing with a woman creature that it might be ready to discorporate. He did not want the woman to die at that if it died now he must die at once also--he could not grok it any wise, not after giving of water. Perhaps if the woman took its clothes off neither of them need discorporate.?(Heinlein,21) Once a Martian?s discorporated body was eaten by his Water Brothers his ?soul? became an old one. Old ones looked after the nests and the eggs which inhabited them. There were many stages of growth on Mars, but Michael, and his water brothers, and even the city were considered...

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