Literature Study GuidesThe Martian Chronicles2004 2005 The Naming Of Names Summary

The Martian Chronicles | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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The Martian Chronicles | 2004–2005: The Naming of Names | Summary

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Summary

Humans rename everything on Mars. And when everything is secure and fully humanized, the wealthy tourists come. Bureaucrats follow, and they bring red tape from Earth and let it "grow on Mars wherever it could take root."

Analysis

They say history is written by the victors, and this is never more evident than in place names. Once humans take the liberty of renaming everything, they are claiming total victory over the Martians. The Martians named their places after "water and air and hills." But when humans claimed Mars and cleared out Martian bones from their dead cities, they named places in memory of their heroes like Spender, Wilder, and Nathaniel York as well as tributes to mighty metals and cities back on Earth. It is dramatic irony that they honor Spender, a man who predicted their exact behavior back in "June 2001: -and the Moon Be Still As Bright."

Mars goes from free and natural to regimented, and Bradbury clearly disapproves of this development, as the reader discovers in the next chapter.

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