The Illustrated Man Essay Research Paper THE

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The Illustrated Man Essay, Research Paper THE ILLUSTRATED MAN This is a collection of short stories written by Ray Bradbury. The story opens when a man, on a walking tour of Wisconsin, meets another man whose body is covered in tattoos. The man with the tattoos, known as the Illustrated Man, is looking for a job. He camped the night with the other man. His tattoos, he told him, where given to him by a witch from the future. When the sun comes down, the tattoos come to life, and play out little dramas upon the man’s flesh. Each of the stories contained in this book come from the dramas played out from the man’s tattoos. The first story, The Veldt, tells the tale of a family from the future. In the future, people have rooms much like the halodeck from Star Trek. The room is

virtual reality, and can be programmed and sensitized to its owners to create for them whatever reality they wish. For this family, the room serves as their children’s nursery. Indeed, the children spend so much time in this “nursery”; it has become a surrogate parent to them. The parents – particularly the father – have become concerned about the amount of time the children spend with the nursery. He fears that perhaps their playtime has become all too real. He calls in an expert to check the nursery out. The room is supposed to respond whenever a person requests, or even thinks of what it wants the room to create. However, the room seems to have been stuck in a rut. The scene: the middle of an African veldt, where a family of lions feasted upon their kill. The expert

suggests that the father try turning off the nursery for a while, and give the family a chance to come together as a real family again, without all their technological inventions getting in the way. The father tries this, but the children and wife rebel. Finally, he relents and turns it back on again. The children race into the nursery, and get locked in. They scream for their parents. The parents burst into the nursery, but instead of their children, they see lions. The lions approach, closing in for the kill? The next story, Kaleidoscope, is an astronaut’s worst nightmare. Their ship explodes, but not everyone is killed. Rather, they are each sent hurtling through space, each in a different direction and each helpless to change course or direction. Their only comfort: radio

contact with one another as they drift endlessly into oblivion. The Other Foot gives a kind of twist on the racism of our nation’s birth. Before the Third World War, several colonies of blacks were sent to Mars to start a new life. Several years have passed, the War come and gone, and now a solitary rocket from earth, piloted by a solitary white man, has landed to give new of home. Many of the people come to greet him with hostility and revenge for the injustices they once experienced in another time, another place. But when he arrives, he tells them the results of the war: total and complete destruction of everything that had once been home, once been the planet known as Earth. Now there is nothing, not even old hatred or grudges to come from. There are 15 other tales in this

book. All follow along a similar theme of strange twists, hope and desperation, and hard lessons and things difficult to accept, see, or understand. My particular favorite is a tale also included in another of Bradbury’s books, The Martian Chronicles. It is entitled, The Fire Balloons. Mars has begun to be colonized, and its beginning very much resembles that of the early Gold Rush days where boomtowns were alive with drinking, gambling, loose women, and rampant sin and debauchery. The Episcopal Fathers have come with a mission: save the souls of these men and women while they still can. Not only of the men themselves, but also of the Martian life not yet knowing of the blessings of Christ. When the fathers first land on Mars, they approach the mayor of the First Town tells the