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In The Martian Chronicles there are four expeditions to Mars. Each is unsuccessful, but Earth decides to build a civilization there anyway to avoid the atomic war back home. This book consists of many short stories dealing with hysteria, jealousy, loneliness, greed, love and betrayal both on Earth and on Mars. In all the stories of The Martian Chronicles the main idea is that people ventured to Mars to start a civilization. After they had built cities replacing those of the original Martians, the humans abandoned Mars to return to their families on earth and provide support while the atomic war was raging.
In the first expedition, Yll misunderstood Ylla's mental telepathy of Nathanial York to be a threat to his love life. When Ylla started having dreams of Nathanial, Yll felt as if Ylla was spending more time thinking about this strange earthling, then she was thinking about Yll. This may have been true, but Nathanial and his crew did not mean any harm to any of the Martians. As Nathanial appeared to be a seductive tall handsome man with black hair and blue eyes, Ylla was puzzled to be dreaming of such a creature. These dreams left her upset and confused. Yll became angry at this earth creature for causing his wife to experience these strange discrepancies. Yet Nathanial was oblivious to these dreams he was causing. Yll misunderstood these innocent dreams to be intentional dreams in the hope of destroying the love between Yll and Ylla. He was wrong. But with his anger, jealousy, and misinterpretation, he went out and killed both members of the crew. Yll's mission was successful; not only did he kill the men, he killed Ylla's dreams. So the first expedition was fatal, all due to a single misunderstanding.
The second expedition was a complete and total disaster which could have been avoided by clearing up a single misunderstanding. Jonathan Williams was not crazy! All during the time when Jonathan and his crew of three were on Mars, the Martians were so stunned at the appearance of these astronauts, that they had mistaken Jonathan for a mental case! These Martians believed Captain Williams was crazy and that his crewmembers were mere hallucinations.
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