Problem Of Isolation In Martian Chronicles By Ray Bradbury
In Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel, The Martian Chronicles, isolation is the worst mental state you can be in when you’re the last man on Mars. In the chapter, The Silent Towns, we read about a man named Walter Gripp run happily around his town, Marlin Village. Then one night, he understands how lonely he is, only wax women to accompany him with their stiff limbs in colorful windows. “Now, tonight, he drifted up and down, seeing the wax women in every colorful shop window, pink and beautiful.
For the first time, he knew how dead the town was. He drew a glass of beer and sobbed gently” (147). He, finally, sees just how isolated he is. How no woman will wrap her arms around him and be his cute, little wife. Even though he does find a woman, Genevieve Selsor, she’s not what he wished she looked like. After spending a grueling day with Genevieve, she tries to hook him into marriage but fails to do so because he runs as soon as he realizes what he got into. Another example of isolation would be in the chapter The Long Years, with Mr. Hathaway and his “never-ending” family. He knows how lonely and dead Mars is, just himself and them. “He looked across the long-dead sea bottoms. Not another living thing on this entire planet, he thought. Just myself. And them” (156). This “them” he mentioned was referring to his family, the realistic robots he created after his original family died of an unknown virus 19 years prior. He felt so isolated that he also created: a recording of scientists discussing scientific and surgical questions for him to answer, that would call automatically, placed loudspeakers around town, and built a button that lights up the town and plays sounds to simulate as if ten thousand people were there. It’s believed that, before his family died, his home was full of love and care. No words can describe how hurt and lonely he might have been, to see his perfect family lifeless.
In Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, isolation has many of the characters in each scene feeling lonely and depressed, pushing them to find a way to fix their emptiness. The similarity in the way Gripp and Hathaway dealt with their isolation was to find a way to get the people they love, so they don’t go mad with loneliness. The difference with the way they dealt with it was Gripp ran from this false love he had and isolated himself once again. Hathaway created his robot family and lived out his happiness until he died, being buried with his original family.