The Martian Chronicles | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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The Martian Chronicles | Epigraph | Summary



As an introduction to this novel which takes place between Earth and Mars, Bradbury quotes a fictional philosopher as saying: "It is good to renew one's wonder ... Space travel has again made children of us all."


Bradbury's epigraph seems optimistic—as if space travel can give humanity a fresh start. This turns out not to be the case: men and women carry their ills with them. It is tragic irony the "wonder" of space travel comes at the expense of two civilizations, Mars and Earth, and all their citizens. However, Bradbury's promise to the reader is finally fulfilled in the last chapter where actual children are brought to Mars.

Quoting a philosopher also signals to the reader what kind of stories will follow. These are stories that are meant to be intellectually stimulating and enriching to the soul. The language used hints at the fantasy elements to come, and the fairy tale-like descriptions inspire wonder.

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