Study Questions for "Mars is Heaven!" by Ray Bradbury [August 22, 1920--June 5, 2012]

  1. While Lustig and Hinkston seem to immediately accept the idea that they have arrived in a small American town, Captain Black remains skeptical at first. What function does Black fulfill in the story?
  2. What does Hinkston initially say is proved by the existence of a town like Green Bluff on Mars?
  3. What is the basis for the details of the small town? That is, what are the sources of the information that is used to shape the town? What examples can you identify to establish the sources of the information?
  4. The characters then form three explanations for the appearance of a small American town on Mars. What are their hypotheses about the existence of the town?
  5. Consider the time of the story's composition: 1948. What issues in 1948 America might explain the motivations and desires of the three principal characters? That is, what about events in America and the nature of 1948 American society might make plausible Lustig's and Hinkston's and, ultimately, Captain Black's embracing of the small town atmosphere?
  6. Consider the story in relation to the ideas informing Romance Mode, particularly the "search of the libido for a fulfillment that will deliver it from the anxieties of reality while still containing that reality." How exactly does Bradbury's story illustrate this point?