Soaring: A Journal of Undergraduate Research
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles, postcolonialism, American identity, Frederick Jackson Turner, The Turner Thesis, John L. O’Sullivan, manifest destiny, The New Frontier
This paper is a reading of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles as a commentary on American identity. Published exactly in the middle of the 20th century, the anthology of short stories provides a unique perspective due to its placement in the journey of American expansion. At Bradbury’s time, not only were Americans seeking to expand out into the New Frontier of space, but criticism of the original frontier was severely lacking. Scholars such as John L. O’Sullivan and Frederick Jackson Turner had made their mark on the American subconscious by arguing that expansion was necessary to form an American identity that was entirely separate from the old European. Bradbury’s science fiction setting retells the frontier narrative by having his characters wipe out the original Martian identity to make room for their new American Martian. This paper argues for Bradbury’s text as an early postcolonial analysis that should not be disregarded as pulp fiction, as it often has been.
Lindenburg, Marcus E. S.
"The Last Martian: Postcolonial Metaphors of the New Frontier,"
Soaring: A Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 2023, Article 9.
Available at: https://fisherpub.sjf.edu/soaring/vol2023/iss1/9