Cold War in the Eyes of Ray Bradbury

1700 Words7 Pages
Ray Bradbury, from small town America (Waukegan, Illinois), wrote two very distinctly different novels in the early Cold War era. The first was The Martian Chronicles (1950) know for its “collection” of short stories that, by name, implies a broad historical rather than a primarily individual account and Fahrenheit 451 (1953), which centers on Guy Montag. The thematic similarities of Mars coupled with the state of the American mindset during the Cold War era entwine the two novels on the surface. Moreover, Bradbury was “preventing futures” as he stated in an interview with David Mogen in 1980. A dystopian society was a main theme in both books, but done in a compelling manner that makes the reader aware of Bradbury’s optimism in the stories. A society completely frightened by a nuclear bomb for example will inevitably become civil to one another. Bradbury used his life to formulate his writing, from his views of people, to the books he read, to his deep suspicion of the machines. . The final nuclear bombs that decimate the earth transform the land. The reader is left with the autonomous house and its final moments as, it, is taken over by fire and consumed by the nature it resisted. Bradbury used science fantasy to analyze humans themselves and the “frontiersman attitude” of destroying the very beauty they find by civilizing it. When referring to the Cold War Novels of Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451) it is imperative to understand his mode of thinking during the time. Bradbury first captures the general sense of anxiety, as well as his own, felt in a new atomic age, in the fifth chapter of The Martian Chronicles, "The Taxpayer." This short chapter identifies fear of nuclear war as an impetus for leaving Earth... ... middle of paper ... .... EPUB file. Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles: The Grand Master Edition. New York: Bantam Spectra, 1977. EPUB file. Donovan, Richard. “Morals from Mars.” The Reporter 26 June 1951: 38-40. Web. 2 Dec. 2013 Kelley, Michael, et al. “Farewell Ray Bradbury, Sf Author And Library Fan.” Library Journal 137.12 (n.d.): Biography Index Past and Present (H.W. Wilson). Web. 7 Nov. 2013. “Ray(mond Douglas) Bradbury (1920).” Contemporary Literary Criticism Vol. 42 (1987): 31-47. Web. 10 Nov. 2013 "Ray Bradbury (1920-)." Short Story Criticism Vol. 29 (1998): 36-93. Web.10 Nov. 2013 "Ray Bradbury (1920-)." Contemporary Literary Criticism Vol. 235 (2007): 95-186. Web.10 Nov. 2013 "Ray Douglas Bradbury." The Biography Channel website. n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. Weller, Sam. “Ray Bradbury, The Art of Fiction No. 203.” the Paris Review. The Paris Review, 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Open Document