SparkNotes: The Martian Chronicles: Summary

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The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles

  

by Ray Bradbury

  • Summary /
  • Ylla

SHMOOP PREMIUM
Summary
SHMOOP PREMIUM
SHMOOP PREMIUM

  • Intro
  • Summary

  • Rocket Summer
  • Ylla
  • The Summer Night
  • The Earth Men
  • The Taxpayer
  • The Third Expedition
  • And The Moon Be Still As Bright
  • The Settlers
  • The Green Morning
  • The Locusts
  • Night Meeting
  • The Shore
  • The Fire Balloons
  • Interim
  • The Musicians
  • The Wilderness
  • Way in the Middle of the Air
  • The Naming of Names
  • Usher II
  • The Old Ones
  • The Martian
  • The Luggage Store
  • The Off Season
  • The Watchers
  • The Silent Towns
  • The Long Years
  • There Will Come Soft Rains
  • The Million-Year Picnic
  • Themes
  • Quotes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Questions
  • Quizzes
  • Flashcards
  • Best of the Web
  • Write Essay
  • Lit Glossary
  • Table of Contents
  • SHMOOP PREMIUM

The Martian Chronicles Ylla Summary

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  • Now the story actually gets going. First, we get a look at Ylla and Yll, an unhappily married Martian (i.e. from Mars!) couple who used to be in love.
  • You know they’re meant to be together, because they’ve practically got the same name. Think “Alexander” and “Alexandra,” or “Joseph” and “Josephine.”
  • Now she does the housework while he ignores her. So, your ordinary 1940s couple.
  • Ylla starts to have some scandalous dreams about an Earth Man named Nathaniel York, who will hop on over to Earth, tell her she’s pretty, and sweep her off her feet. 
  • York has a co-pilot named Bert, but Bert apparently isn’t the type to sweep Martian housewives off their feet.
  • (Hint: if you’re having sexy dreams about someone other than your lawfully wedded spouse, you should probably keep them to yourself.)
  • Anyway, it turns out that all Ylla needed to do was cook up a reason for Yll to be jealous, because now he’s definitely paying attention to her. 
  • He tries to distract her and makes up excuses for why she can’t go out to meet Nathaniel York. 
  • Since Ylla talks in her sleep, she gives away a few deets about how the Earth Men are coming. 
  • Yll heads off with his gun, telling Ylla he’s going “hunting.” And he is—hunting (and killing) Earth Men.
  • Surprisingly, this doesn’t make their marriage any happier.
  •  BACK
  • NEXT 


 Cite This Page

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The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles

  

by Ray Bradbury

  • Summary /
  • Ylla

SHMOOP PREMIUM
Summary
SHMOOP PREMIUM
SHMOOP PREMIUM

  • Intro
  • Summary

  • Rocket Summer
  • Ylla
  • The Summer Night
  • The Earth Men
  • The Taxpayer
  • The Third Expedition
  • And The Moon Be Still As Bright
  • The Settlers
  • The Green Morning
  • The Locusts
  • Night Meeting
  • The Shore
  • The Fire Balloons
  • Interim
  • The Musicians
  • The Wilderness
  • Way in the Middle of the Air
  • The Naming of Names
  • Usher II
  • The Old Ones
  • The Martian
  • The Luggage Store
  • The Off Season
  • The Watchers
  • The Silent Towns
  • The Long Years
  • There Will Come Soft Rains
  • The Million-Year Picnic
  • Themes
  • Quotes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Questions
  • Quizzes
  • Flashcards
  • Best of the Web
  • Write Essay
  • Lit Glossary
  • Table of Contents
  • SHMOOP PREMIUM

The Martian Chronicles Ylla Summary

  •  BACK
  • NEXT 

  • Now the story actually gets going. First, we get a look at Ylla and Yll, an unhappily married Martian (i.e. from Mars!) couple who used to be in love.
  • You know they’re meant to be together, because they’ve practically got the same name. Think “Alexander” and “Alexandra,” or “Joseph” and “Josephine.”
  • Now she does the housework while he ignores her. So, your ordinary 1940s couple.
  • Ylla starts to have some scandalous dreams about an Earth Man named Nathaniel York, who will hop on over to Earth, tell her she’s pretty, and sweep her off her feet. 
  • York has a co-pilot named Bert, but Bert apparently isn’t the type to sweep Martian housewives off their feet.
  • (Hint: if you’re having sexy dreams about someone other than your lawfully wedded spouse, you should probably keep them to yourself.)
  • Anyway, it turns out that all Ylla needed to do was cook up a reason for Yll to be jealous, because now he’s definitely paying attention to her. 
  • He tries to distract her and makes up excuses for why she can’t go out to meet Nathaniel York. 
  • Since Ylla talks in her sleep, she gives away a few deets about how the Earth Men are coming. 
  • Yll heads off with his gun, telling Ylla he’s going “hunting.” And he is—hunting (and killing) Earth Men.
  • Surprisingly, this doesn’t make their marriage any happier.
  •  BACK
  • NEXT 


 Cite This Page

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Literature Study Guides The Martian Chronicles Summary

The Martian Chronicles | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Study Guide

Contents

  • Overview

  • Infographic

  • Context

  • Characters

  • Plot Summary

  • Chapter Summaries

    • Epigraph

    • January 1999: Rocket Summer

    • February 1999: Ylla

    • August 1999: The Summer Night

    • August 1999: The Earth Men

    • March 2000: The Taxpayer

    • April 2000: The Third Expedition

    • June 2001: —and the Moon Be Still as Bright

    • August 2001: The Settlers

    • December 2001: The Green Morning

    • February 2002: The Locusts

    • August 2002: Night Meeting

    • October 2002: The Shore

    • February 2003: Interim

    • April 2003: The Musicians

    • June 2003: Way in the Middle of the Air

    • 2004–2005: The Naming of Names

    • April 2005: Usher II

    • August 2005: The Old Ones

    • September 2005: The Martian

    • November 2005: The Luggage Store

    • November 2005: The Off Season

    • November 2005: The Watchers

    • December 2005: The Silent Towns

    • April 2026: The Long Years

    • August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains

    • October 2026: The Million-Year Picnic

  • Quotes

  • Symbols

  • Themes

  • Author Biography

  • Things You Didnt Know

  • Suggested Reading


Cite This Study Guide

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Course Hero. “The Martian Chronicles Study Guide.” Course Hero. 20 July 2017. Web. 3 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Martian-Chronicles/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, July 20). The Martian Chronicles Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Martian-Chronicles/

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Bibliography

Course Hero. “The Martian Chronicles Study Guide.” July 20, 2017. Accessed December 3, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Martian-Chronicles/.

Footnote

Course Hero, “The Martian Chronicles Study Guide,” July 20, 2017, accessed December 3, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Martian-Chronicles/.

The Martian Chronicles |
June 2001: —and the Moon Be Still as Bright | Summary




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Summary

Captain Wilder and the crew of the fourth expedition, including Hathaway and Sam Parkhill , land on a cold Martian night. The auxiliary rocket crew reports while four out of five Martian cities appear to have been dead for centuries, the other cities contain houses filled with freshly dead Martian bodies. They died from chicken pox, brought to Mars by the previous expeditions.

Jeff Spender observes the rest of the crew celebrating and ends up hitting Biggs. Captain Wilder fines him but seems to sympathize with his position of honoring the Martian culture. Captain Wilder theorizes there are not enough Martian survivors left to be a problem.

But then Spender seems to be infected by the Martian point of view. He leaves the crew and doesn’t come back for more than a week. When he does return, he claims to be a Martian and kills six of the crew, including Biggs. Wilder leads a squad bent on neutralizing Spender and ends up shooting Spender himself after having a long conversation with him about conserving Martian culture.

Analysis

This story is a turning point in the narrative, transitioning from the exploration of the first act to the settling of Mars in the second act.

At first Spender’s role seems to be Bradbury ‘s mouthpiece, criticizing colonialism and all the ways it negatively impacts natives. He equates what humans are doing on Mars to what happened when Cortez and the Spanish Empire destroyed the Aztec civilization in Mexico. He can envision the “imported blasphemy” of littering proud Martian cities with American nostalgic junk. His predictions of them “rip[ping] the skin off, and chang[ing] it to fit ourselves” are prophetic, though Wilder wrongly does not think man can have that much of an impact stating Mars is “too big and too good.”

But Spender goes too far when he starts killing his crewmates in the name of saving Mars from further human impact. In the space of a few pages Bradbury documents the making of a radicalized terrorist. “I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer,” Spender says. “I’ve got what amounts to a religion, now.”

Captain Wilder takes a more moderate approach. He’s conflicted about colonialism, but he’s following orders from Earth. He also speculates because all the Martian cities are intact, they must have simply “acceded to racial death” without a fight. He opines they do not mind humans’ presence more than they would “mind children playing on the lawn,” a line that takes on a more sinister connotation in the later story “The Musicians” where children desecrate Martian bones, symbolizing man’s destructive nature is innate. Even though Wilder can agree with Spender in theory, he is compelled to end his terrorist actions. Still, at the end, Wilder violently punishes Parkhill for destroying Martian buildings, implying Spender’s argument might have affected him more than he will admit to, a fact which later leads to Wilder being sent away from Mars for his liberal attitude.

Bradbury quotes English poet Lord Byron for a second time, taking the chapter title from the poem “So We’ll Go No More a Roving.” Because it is a lament to what has been lost, its use further underscores Bradbury’s moderate critique of colonialism over the more radical approach embraced by men like Spender.

In this chapter and others including ” April 2003: The Musicians ,” Bradbury refers to the brittle nature of Martian bones. Hathaway describes Martian remains as having been “[b]urnt … black and dried,” a way to show fire functioning as a symbol of destruction.

April 2000: The Third Expedition
August 2001: The Settlers


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