Well, that escalated quickly

December 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

In the matter of a page and a half, Ray Bradbury’s Mars is Heaven changes from a heartwarming story of impossible reunions to a frightening story of violent aliens. Perhaps it was the title or maybe my gullible nature, but I was completely caught off guard by this twist. And therein lies the brilliance of Bradbury’s work — just as the characters of the story are drawn in by their families, so too is the reader drawn into it. We want to believe that all of our lost relatives live on Mars and a brass band continuously plays jubilant tunes up and down the streets. It fulfills the deep yearning that each of us holds inside of ourselves to have our lost ones back with us. It is an innate human tendency to become endeared to this possibility.

Specifically, while reading this short story, I was reminded of the relationship that I shared with my dog growing up. We were very close, but unfortunately my family had to put him down when I was in high school. I could not imagine how I would feel if suddenly I saw him — surely my reaction would mirror that of Lustig and the other members of the crew. My guard would be let down and I would have believed without any restraint that this possibility was reality. However, that is not the case. As much as we are attracted to idea of our lost loved ones being alive again, it simply cannot happen (at least as far as I know). And it is this tendency that makes us vulnerable, both as humans and as readers.

— Kyle Uber

(make up blog post for 10/29/15 absence)


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