The Martian Chronicles, a distopian dream
Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a wonderful collection of vignettes. I also for the life of me could not focus the way I wanted to and produce an essay that I am happy with. That lack of focus and the strict word limit also meant that when I did write an essay I was unable to address everything I wished to include - and that lack was noticed by Peer #4. Peer #1 seems very put out that I did not specifically put The Martian Chronicles in the 'works cited' field, even though we were explicitly told that step was unnecessary for the week's assigned reading. I usually do include it regardless, but for some reason I did not this time.
Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a daydream of humanity's self-destruction regardless of where we call home.FEEDBACK
The Mars that Bradbury describes is a fantasy land, a utopia of its own before we arrive. The Martians are civilized, with unique technology, and an innocent incompatibility with the persistent, single-minded Earthlings. The Earthlings start first as dreams, then perceived as projected hallucinations, until they literally fade away into phantoms. Even after the Martians have faded away they continue to exist in a world outside that of the immigrants from Earth, trying to integrate unnoticed and seamlessly into the lives of the planet's new residents. The Martians even try to fill the voids in settler's lives left by missing loved ones, and bequeath the planet to settlers when they comprehend the death of Earth itself.
The Earthlings flee to Mars seeking salvation, but ultimately bring with them all the problems they sought to escape from. The first astronauts to land think only of their own achievement, of kissing the Martian maidens or of celebratory parades. Later, after human disease has decimated the Martians allowed humans to land without meeting any natives, they quickly proceed to sully the new land, celebrating as they spread their waste.
As they settle the planet, the Martian cities stand, out of bounds and profane. Children are forbidden to visit them, and adults strive to fill the planet's empty space with highways and cities. The Earthlings fight against the existence of the Martians, relegating their existance to boogey men and inferior conquered people just as men have done on their homeworld. A native bringing news of gift is treated as hostile and killed in self-righteous "self-defense." Men may have left Mars when Earth called them home to help in the war, but they brought all the seeds that grew into the death of their homeworld with them when they traveled to Mars.
peer 1 → There are a number of grammatical mistakes but the real problem here is the form of the essay. The first paragraph is too short, and the rest are a bit long. You might have divided them differently. Also, no cited work?! That is never a good decision - I'm not sure if you did it on purpose or if you just forgot.peer 2 → Need a citation. Small stuff missing on a very excellent effort.peer 3 → I like the way you write, really good structure!peer 4 → Great language use- your essay is articulate and flows well! The only sentence I found a bit confusing is the one that begins 'the earthling start first as dreams...' - not sure what the sentence refers to...? Still, grading you a 3 on form!peer 5 → Well structured. Good use of paragraphs.
OTHER COMMENTSpeer 1 → There is some retelling here and no quotes whatsoever. The thesis is not clear and, overall, it is not a bad essay but it's not great either. Some sentences were too short, some too long, and some hard to understand.peer 2 → Well written. Dark view but I like it.peer 3 → Really liked the argument, well discussed points!peer 4 → Extremely interesting essay. I enjoyed how you interpreted the Martians' later acts as benevolence, I perceived them differently during my reading! The only small point of improvement: perhaps you could have included the early exceptions to Martian kindness- wiping out of expeditions 1, 2 and 3, in which the human explorers were killed. Perhaps you read those differently as well, I would have liked to see how those were reconciled to Martian innocence...peer 5 → Very well written. Good insight.
peer 1 → You must cite the work, and what's even more important, use quotes in the essay! They give valid support to your point of view and often result in higher mark.peer 4 → Great job, overall!