The Martian Chronicles

The Fear of Loss in Science Fiction: Thematic Analysis of "The Third Expedition" and 2001: A Space Odyssey 10th Grade

What if the future of the human race were determined by a black, rectangular block? Though it may sound strange, that is exactly what happens in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). When a monolith is placed on Earth, the line between animal and human becomes blurred. Through the exploration of space and artificial intelligence, the monolith’s effects for the next 4 million years went into new realms of technology and even beyond the universe. Meanwhile, in "The Third Expedition" from Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, astronauts encounter a seemingly harmless town on Mars. But evil takes many forms, and these unknowing Earthlings may face them in a way they would never have guessed. Science fiction can cover a plethora of topics, including a wide amount of human fears. The fear of losing the world as we know it is distinctly seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, through space travel and encounters with artificial intelligence, as well as the Bradbury story "The Third Expedition", when astronauts are faced with their worst nightmares in the form of their most loved ones.

As a film released in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey offers a look into the future, and “has something important to say about humankind, and...

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