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Jul 15, 2014

Teaching notes on Bradbury's "Mars is Heaven!"

Activity: Show the Ray Bradbury theater dramatization (available on YouTube). Also expose them to the comic book version. You can d iscuss the relationships between the adaptations.

Then get into a deeper analysis of the text. In particular, look at the rationales offered to explain the phenomenon of the uncanny familiarity of place.

A. Religious explanations

B. Scientific/rational explanations

Why are the crew members so easily duped by the Martians?

Discuss the quote (at the end of the story) about the power of imagination and memory vs. Violence.

How does the Captain finally figure out the real reason? He uses his imagination.

This may lead to a discussion about how the imagination and memory is a powerful source of feeling, how it can weaken your defenses. Historical and contemporary examples of this phenomenon abound. Can you imagine any instances where your memories and imagination has been manipulated in any way to get you to behave differently? [Could be a writing assignment]

Also discuss the reasons why the Martians might hate the Earthlings.

Finally, examine the end of the story, why do the Martians continue to adopt the guise of the humans, and why does this begin to fade away?