An Analysis of the Plot and Imagery in Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed, a Story by Ray Bradbury

Bradbuu Lit Analysis The story “Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed” by Ray Bradbury is an intricate weaving of excitement, poetic writing. and imagination.The plot is centered around Harry Bittering, man from Earth who has traveled to Mars with his wife, Cora. and kids, Dan. Laura, and David. Harry is unsettled the minute he steps foot on Mars, as he thinks it wants to steal his identity, and wants to return to Earth. Ultimately, he is stranded on Mars after the rockets to Mars located on Earth were all destroyed.

As the story goes on, Harry begins to notice subtle changes in the plants and animals, like his roses turning green and his cow growing athird horn, while the rest of his family is oblivious to it. He also notices that the other people from Earth seem to be completely calm despite the fact that they’re stranded on Mars. and that they’re referring to landforms using the Martian names.

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This disturbs Harry even more, and in desperation he buys metal and blueprints to build a rocket. He tries to rally the others to join him, but theyjust laugh and make fun of him, telling him how he won’t be able to build a sturdy enough rocket, Harry refuses to eat anything grown on Mars, thinking that some sort of Martian virus is in the soil and causing the people to act like Martians, and eats only from his deep freeze. Unfortunately, this runs out quickly, and he is forced to eat food from Mars.

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Harry’s boy, Dan, wants to be called a Martian name, Linnl and Harry himself starts unintentionally using Martian words as well. He and his family gradually become darker, taller, thinner, and golden-eyed. Hariy slowly stops resisting the change. and along with all the others from Earth, he turns into a Martian. At the end of the story, a group of American Astronauts land on Mars to tell the human colonists that the war on Earth is over. They find that no humans are left, only empty houses and Harry’s flimsy rocket frame. They meet the Martians in the hills. and conclude that the humans must have died from some sort of plague. They begin to name the landforms after famous things from Earth, like the previous settlers. implying that they will be changed like the humans before them. Many literary terms are present throughout the story. The most prevalent of these literary terms are characterization, internal conflict, and symbolism.

Throughout the story, Harry Bittering is characterized as paranoid. As Harry gets off the rocket, he immediately immerses himself in a pool of paranoia. He thinks that Mars wants to steal his identity, like athief in the night. He thinks, “At any moment, the Martian air might draw his soul from him…” (480). This shows that Harry is paranoid because he is convinced that Mars wants to draw his soul away from him. Because of this, he never feels comfortable on Mars and is constantly questioning the safety of himself and his family. As the plot continues, Harry and his family have established themselves on Mars. Harry refuses to give up on the idea that Mars is unsafe. “I feel like a salt crystal,” he thought, ”in a mountain stream being washed away. We don’t belong here.” (486). This shows that Harry is paranoid because he feels that Mars is changing him somehow, while the rest of his family is oblivious, Because of this, he doesn’t trust Mars and must check and double-check every aspect of his life. However, Harry’s paranoia is justified, because when it comes time to move the family, part of him agrees and part of him disagrees. Mars was the monster. changing him into a Martian against his will. In the passage, Harry Bittering is fighting an internal conflict. After Laura reports that all the space rockets to Mars blew up, Harry’s fear of Mars grows exponentially. As mentioned in the story. ”…he was drenched in the hotness of his fear,” (481), This shows that Harry has an internal struggle because his fear is slowly suffocating him. As a result, he is pushed even closer to the edge of sanity and frantically attempts to build a rocket as means of keeping his inner terror at bay. Later in the plot. Harry’s fear continues to grow. He is like a deer in headlights, and is only able to think about his immense dread. As stated in the story, “The fear would not be stopped. It had his throat and heart.” (485). This displays that Harry Is fighting an internal conflict because his fear is starting to control him. Because of this. he resorts to committing all of his time towards the rocket in an unsuccessful attempt to escape his inner demons. Eventually, Harry loses his Inner battle, as his fear takes control of him and dictates his thoughts and actions. Amidst the constant action in the story, the wind is everpresent. It is a symbol of change.

At the beginning of the passage, Harry is wary of Mars and its mysteriousness. He’s afraid it may change his very being, and the wind constantly reminds us of this. As stated in the story, “The wind blew as if to flake away their identities.” (480). This shows that the wind symbolizes change because it forlornly blows and warns of the change that is approaching. Because of this, Harry tries as hard as possuble to stay true to his Earth ways. Later in the passage, many things have changed. The plants and animals have morphed, and the wind warily whistles in accompaniment to the gradual transformation of the Bitterings‘ lives. As mentioned in the passage while Harry was lying in bed, “…the wind roaring forlorn and changing through the old peach trees, the violet grass. shaking out green rose petals.” (486). This shows that the wind symbolizes change because its present while the plants, animals, and Bitterings are changing. As a result, Harry refuses to use anything that has been remotely altered by Mars, and eats only from his deep freeze. Overall, the wind in the story represents the change that the Bitterings are experiencrng, To conclude, the story ”Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed” by Ray Bradbury is an intricate weaving of excitement, poetic writing, and imagination. I liked this story because it had vivid imagery and exciting plot twists that threw me off. An example of this was when the rockets were destroyed. If I were to make any changes or additions to the plot, I would add in how the war on Earth ended. This book is best suited for kids twelve years or older of both genders. Overall. I would rate this story five out of five stars because of the vivid details, exciting plot. and the theme of change that is reflected throughout the entire story.

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An Analysis of the Plot and Imagery in Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed, a Story by Ray Bradbury. (2022, Jul 12). Retrieved from

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