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The Illustrated Man discussion > "The Concrete Mixer" by Ray Bradbury

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is our discussion of the short story....

" The Concrete Mixer " by Ray Bradbury

From the anthology The Illustrated Man collection by Ray Bradbury. See The Illustrated Man anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited May 29, 2018 06:51AM) (new)

Bradbury tries a parody. Martians invade Earth, 'cause that's what Martian do. They find a welcoming, decadent Earth who see Mars as a new market for soap and chewing gum. One pacifist Martian protagonist is sickened by the thought of Earth culture polluting Mars' ancient, intellectual civilization. No need to fight, victory through assimilation!

This is Bradbury's undisguised contempt for the "common man." He loathe's popular culture (I'm more sensitized at the moment because I just read his Fahrenheit 451, also contemptuous of the masses.)


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I didn't like this one much either. Like G33z3r said, Bradbury seems too contemptuous of human society in this story. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This is another idea that PKD would have written but with a sense of humor.


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Andrea | 2806 comments When the Martians got sick after eating all the junk food I thought at first it would be a War of the Worlds solution where the Martian just couldn't handle the viruses of Earth. However, turns out what the Martians will be infected by is Earth's capitalism. I actually thought it was a bit funny, though as Randy pointed out, could have been funnier.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "When the Martians got sick after eating all the junk food I thought at first it would be a War of the Worlds solution where the Martian just couldn't handle the viruses of Earth...."

It is, in a way, a War of the Worlds type of story, except the virus is advertisement & consumerism. (Whether that's a necessary consequence of capitalism, I'll leave to philosophers.) Bradbury also pokes at advertisements & consumerism in Fahrenheit 451, in a period when Montag gets an advertising jingle stuck in his head. “Denham’s Dentifrice... Denham’s does it!”


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