The Martian Chronicles

by Ray Bradbury

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1. Read Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and compare his vision of censorship in that novel with the ideas in "Usher II."

2. Bradbury connected the longer stories in The Martian Chronicles by means of short, transitional passages. Choose one of these short pieces and expand it into a full-length short story.

3. In The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury has attempted to craft a coherent history of Martian colonization. Analyze Bradbury's book as a historical work. Is it internally consistent? What information does he leave out that you would most like to know? You may wish to evaluate his practice of affixing dates to each piece, and his habit of referring to characters and events from earlier stories in later pieces.

4. The Martian Chronicles was written almost two decades before the first astronauts landed on the moon. Although Bradbury is deliberately vague on the subject of technology, he does describe some futuristic devices in his stories. List some of the features of the first rocket ships to Mars as described in "The Earth Men," "The Third Expedition," and "And The Moon Be Still As Bright," and compare these ships with the first moon rockets.

5. Many critics have called Bradbury's writing style poetic. Choose one of your favorite passages in The Martian Chronicles and write a poem inspired by the images and ideas in Bradbury's prose.

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