Green Town, Somewhere on Mars; Mars, Somewhere in Egypt
Since the days of Homer, storytellers have credited the Muses- the Greek goddesses of inspiration- for their storytelling abilities. In this introduction, what does Bradbury identify as his "muses"? (This annotation contains an image)
For what purpose does Bradbury repeat Fellini's words from earlier in the introduction?
January 2030: Rocket Summer
As described in the text, the term "rocket summer" most nearly means which of the following?
Because this book is almost entirely set on Mars, Bradbury has to create a whole new world to set his characters in. Keep an eye out for how Bradbury makes life on Mars both similar to and different from life on Earth.
For years, scientists have speculated whether there could be life on Mars, often concluding that it would be impossible due to the planet's lack of a viable water source. What literary device is Bradbury using by making this remark about life on Earth? (This annotation contains an image)
Based on his reaction to Ylla's dream and singing, which of the following adjectives best applies to Yll?
Bradbury makes frequent use of figurative language in his writing. This line, for instance, contains both a simile and a metaphor. Click the video below for a definition of these literary terms. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is not a word which accurately describes how Ylla feels about her dreams?
In your own words, explain the comparison drawn in the extended metaphor in these lines.
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
August 2030: The Summer Night
These are the first four lines of "She Walks in Beauty," a poem by British Romantic poet Lord Byron. Click the link below to read the rest of the poem. (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following is not associated with the arrival of people from Earth on Mars?
August 2030: The Earth Men
Although these astronauts don't know what happened to the First Expedition, you (as the reader) do. This is an example of dramatic irony, which is defined in the video below. What can we infer happened to the First Expedition? (This annotation contains a video)
Use the "define" tool to look up the definition of the word impertinently. As used in this sentence, which of the following is the best synonym for impertinently?
The simile highlighted in this line implies that the captain is __________ Mrs. Ttt's response.
These highlighted lines contain a different kind of irony, called situational irony. Click the video below for a definition. What does the irony add to the tone of this chapter? (This annotation contains a video)
In the United States, notable visitors or members of society are sometimes awarded a "Key to the City"- a ceremonial symbol which indicates that the recipient is an esteemed friend of the city. The practice dates back to the medieval ages, when walled cities required a key for entry and exit. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Captain Williams' previous interactions with the citizens of Mars, which of the following is most likely?
Telepathy refers to the ability to transmit information from individual to individual through the use of the mind only, not through speech or physical suggestion. Autosuggestion, on the other hand, refers to influencing a person's behavior through the use of hypnosis. (This annotation contains an image)
Why will the Earth Men have trouble proving they are not insane?
Euthanasia, sometimes referred to as "mercy killing," is the practice of ending a person's life in order to relieve them of pain or suffering.
Why does Mr. Xxx feel that euthanasia is necessary in Captain Williams' case?
Which of the taxpayers' concerns about Earth are most relevant today? Which concerns are no longer as pressing?
"The Martian Chronicles" was initially published in 1950, but you are currently reading the 1997, revised edition of the book. Originally the story was set starting in 1999. When the revised edition was released, all of the dates mentioned in the book were advanced by 31 years to maintain the sense that the story takes placed in the near-future.
April 2031: The Third Expedition
The Victorian house which the Earth Men see may look something like the picture below. Why are they so surprised to see this sight? (This annotation contains an image)
Captain Black's attitude toward the Martian town can best best described as
Earlier in this novel, the Earth Men showed excitement whenever they encountered a Martian. Why do these men demonstrate fear?
In what ways is this woman like the other Martians the Earth Men have encountered so far in this book? How is she different?
In what way does Lustig and Hinkston's explanation demonstrate irony?
The reference to the astronauts as being similar to the Pilgrims is an example of
In the 1980s, this short story was adapted into an episode of the television series "The Ray Bradbury Theater." The video below depicts the first portion of the story. Watch the video to answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Which details are emphasized in this adaptation of Bradbury's story? What is different?
Over the course of the next few pages, Bradbury will use details in his writing to gradually shift the mood. Click the link below for a definition of mood. Watch for the shift as you continue to read this chapter. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following best describes the mood shift which occurred in the last few pages?
Which of the following is not a way that telepathy has been used in this novel up to this point?
June 2032:—And The Moon Be Still As Bright
Remember that you can look up the definition of any word by using the "define" tool. Look up "auxilary." How have the expeditions to Mars gradually changed and improved from the mistakes of the past ones?
Spender feels that it is __________ that the Martians have been gutted by a prevalent children's disease.
This statement isn't entirely true. Although majority of deaths due to chicken pox occur in adults, in the year 2010 there were still 6,800 deaths attributed to the disease.
Which of the following is the best summary of Spender's meaning in this line?
When Europeans first came to America in the 15th and 16th centuries, they brought diseases- particularly smallpox- which devastated the Native populations, killing thousands of them. What other parallels does Bradbury draw in this paragraph between the history of colonization in America and what is happening on Mars? (This annotation contains an image)
How does Lord Byron's poem apply to the Martians' situation? In other words, why does Spender feel this is an appropriate poem for this moment?
Characterization is the way that an author brings his or her characters to life through revealing their traits and personalities. How is Spender characterized through his choice to refer to himself as "the last Martian"?
Throughout early United States history, the Native Americans were continuously forced to relocate their homes. In 1907, Oklahoma Territory was formally joined with Indian Territory and was admitted to the Union, ending the formal recognition of an Indian reserve in that portion of the United States. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Spender kill several of his fellow crewmates?
Though sometimes waving a white flag means surrender, in this case the captain is using a secondary meaning: calling for a temporary truce, in order for the warring parties to attempt negotiation. (This annotation contains an image)
Darwin's theory of evolution purports that man evolved over many years from lower animal forms- a theory which is thought by many to be a direct contradiction of the religious view that humans were created by God. As a result, science and religion are often held to be incompatible concepts. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the "define" tool to look up cynic. Which of the following describes the outlook on life held by a cynic?
This paragraph switches from third-person point of view to first-person, giving us a stream of consciousness peek into the captain's thoughts. What effect does this point of view switch have on the mood of this passage?
Which of the following is the best explanation for why the captain aims his gun at Parkhill's back?
Provide and explain two pieces of evidence from this final page of the chapter which indicate that Spender's words had an impact on the captain.
August 2032: The Settlers
What is the effect of using so many contrasts in this paragraph?
December 2032: The Green Morning
Which of the following is not a reason why Benjamin Driscoll wants to plant trees on Mars?
Hydroponic plants are grown using minerals and liquid bases instead of soil. (This annotation contains an image)
February 2033: The Locusts
Locusts were one of the ten plagues of Egypt described in the Old Testament. In order to punish the Egyptians for enslaving the Israelites, God sent a plague of locusts to destroy their crops. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following does not directly reveal the narrator's disapproving tone toward the new settlers?
August 2033: Night Meeting
Describe how Mars has changed since humans first encountered it in the early chapters of this book.
In this paragraph, Thomas describes time in such a way as to personify it. Click the video below for an explanation of personification. (This annotation contains a video)
The simile used here evokes an image of a fish who might look something like this one. (This annotation contains an image)
Thomas and the Martian are both
Which of the following is suggested through the conversation between Thomas and the Martian?
Tenements are old, multi-family buildings typically found in cities. They are known for being crowded and run-down, and were often occupied by the poor. Knowing this, who are the second wave of people who come to Mars? (This annotation contains an image)
November 2033: The Fire Balloons
In this chapter and the last, Bradbury has described three different types of people who traveled to Mars. Who are these people, and what purpose does each of them have?
Why does the Bishop feel that Mars is especially in need of missionaries?
Which of the following does Father Peregrine seem most interested in?
Fire Balloons like the ones described in this paragraph can be seen in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
The Biblical phrase "to separate the wheat from the chaff" refers to the concept of removing things that are valuable from things that have no value. What effect is Bradbury trying to achieve by using this phrase (and reversing its order) in this line?
Father Peregrine assumes that the Martians must be
In the Bible, Jesus Christ is tempted by the Devil to throw himself from a high place onto the rocks below. Click below to read the story, and use it to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
How do Father Peregrine's actions parallel those described in the story of Jesus? How are they different?
Father Peregrine argues that since cultures around the world make small adjustments to how they depict Christ, altering Jesus' shape to match that of the Martians makes sense. Below is an image depicting a Chinese Jesus and Holy Family. (This annotation contains an image)
Father Peregrine is ________ to make contact with the Martians.
Why don't the Martians want Father Peregrine's assistance?
In "The Wizard of Oz," a twister picks up Dorothy Gale's house and transports it, wholly intact, to Oz. Why does Bradbury make this allusion? (This annotation contains an image)
April 2034: The Musicians
Use the "define" tool to look up plangent. Based on the definition, which of the following sounds could best be described as plangent?
Independence is also known as "The Queen City of the Trails." In the 1800s, it served as the origin of departure for three major trails for pioneers to head west, including the Oregon Trail. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Bradbury set this story in Independence?
What does this line reveal about the women's motivation to go to Mars? What does it reveal about the women themselves?
How does the imagery in this paragraph contribute to the mood of this chapter?
Which of the following best describes Janice and Leonora's feelings as they prepare to leave for Mars?
How does Janice's situation compare to that faced by 19th century pioneers?
Conestoga wagons were driven by the pioneers. One is depicted below. (This annotation contains an image)
This chapter takes its title from the short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. The story concerns two siblings living in a "haunted" house. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the speaker describing in this passage?
Which of the following is the best explanation for what is likely meant by the term "Clean-Minded people"?
Realism is a literary genre which conveys contemporary life as it actually occurs or happened in the past. From Mr. Stendahl and Mr. Garrett's remarks, what can we conclude about what types of literature Earth has rejected?
From his favorable comparison to Chaney, what can be inferred about Pikes?
The three actors referenced in these lines are widely regarded to be the best horror actors of all time. Bela Lugosi is best known for his work as Dracula; Boris Karloff was known as Frankenstein's monster; Lon Chaney, often called "The Man of a Thousand Faces," is depicted below as the Phantom of the Opera. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Stendahl's party is full of which of the following?
What is Mr. Stendahl's plan for rebelling against the banning of imagination?
Although called "Usher," this story contains allusions to several Edgar Allan Poe stories. From this point forward, the text most closely resembles "The Cask of Amontillado." Click on the link below to read the story, and use it to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Why do you think Bradbury chose to reference these Poe stories within his novel?
Which of the following is not a similarity between Mr. Garrett and Fortunato?
Which of the following best summarizes Mr. Stendahl's intent for holding his party?
August 2036: The Old Ones
September 2036: The Martian
How have the reasons that people come to Mars shifted over the course of this novel?
Up to this point, in what way does this story parallel the story "The Third Expedition" from earlier in the novel?
Remember that Bradbury's Martians have some supernatural powers. Which one does "Tom" utilize?
Which of the following is exemplified in the highlighted lines?
What information can you infer about "Tom's" transformations?
The highlighted line presents the theme which this story explores. Do you agree with this statement? Why?
Which of the following factors allows "Tom" to change his appearance?
November 2036: The Luggage Store
Use the "define" tool to look up the word remote. Which of the following is the best synonym for remote as it is used in this context?
Father Peregrine is the same character from "The Fire Balloons," meaning he has been on Mars for three years now.
What inference can you make about why Father Peregrine decides to buy a new suitcase?
November 2036: The Off Season
Sam's statements to the Martian can best be described as
Bradbury uses imagery in this paragraph. Click the video below to learn more about imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
This description of the girl's death contains two examples of
Sam is all of the following except
Notice Bradbury's use of color imagery in his descriptions of the Martians. Why do you think he chose to make them such colorful characters?
Sam seems to be thinking of "The New Colossus," the poem on the Statue of Liberty. Read the poem at the link below and use it to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Why is Bradbury's reference to "The New Colossus" both appropriate and ironic?
November 2036: The Watchers
The highlighted line can best be considered which of the following?
Many authors require a reader to make an inference about what is happening in the text, rather than directly stating it. What does this line imply about the reaction on Mars to the events on Earth?
December 2036: The Silent Towns
The video below displays the lyrics to and plays "That Old Gang of Mine." Listen to the song to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Why are the lyrics to "That Old Gang of Mine" appropriate for Walter Gripp's situation?
Since discovering that almost all of Mars is deserted, which of the following best describes Walter's shifts in mood?
Why does Walter construct this beautiful image of Genevieve in his head, even though he has never met her before?
One of the most famous actors of the 1930s and 40s, Clark Gable was referred to as "the King of Hollywood." The star of over 60 films, he is probably best known for this role as Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind." (This annotation contains an image)
Walter remains on Mars because he lives by himself and doesn't realize everyone has left. Why does Genevieve stay on Mars?
April 2057: The Long Years
This Mr. Hathaway is the same one who came on the Fourth Expedition; he is the physician-geologist who discovered the Martians had died of chicken pox.
This line can best be considered an example of
As you read the next few pages, look for evidence that supports the fact that Hathaway is not in good health.
Which of the following statements is most accurate?
Captain Wilder's attitude toward the Hathaway family can best be described as
Besides the crosses, what other evidence in this chapter foreshadowed that Hathaway had "made" his family?
The tone of the final paragraph implies that the Hathaways' existence and actions are
August 2057: There Will Come Soft Rains
The city of Allendale, California is located north of San Francisco- meaning that this story is set back on Earth. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is an artist's rendering of the exterior of the house in "There Will Come Soft Rains." Use this picture to answer the next question. (This annotation contains an image)
How do the details depicted in the picture give the events described in the story a different overall tone and mood?
The following poem, entitled "There Will Come Soft Rains," was written by American poet Sara Teasdale in 1920, in the post-World War I era. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is the common theme found in both the poem and this chapter?
October 2057: The Million-Year Picnic
As you continue reading, keep a look out for details which suggest that this is more than just "a fishing trip."
The details about the gun and the food most clearly suggest which of the following?
This is an important exchange; keep it in mind as you continue to read.
What is implied in this line?
For the father, the act of burning these papers is
What does the father mean when he "shows them the Martians"?