The Martian by Andy Weir
Have you ever looked into the sky and wondered, when will we go to Mars? The Martian by Andy Weir addresses this question and is set in the year 2035. It also focuses on the struggles that we may have when we eventually do travel to Mars, like in the book where the main character must survive alone, and the big ideas of isolation and suffering. The Martian by Andy Weir examines a question pondered by many, and the consequences that may come with colonizing the red planet.
One big idea The Martian by Andy Weir addresses is isolation. This is addressed through the main character, Mark Watney, when he becomes stranded on Mars after being separated from his team during a violent storm. A a satellite signal stick is stuck in his vest, and it fills the hole it has created, allowing him to survive. Isolation is addressed well in this book because it details every struggle Mark Watney faces pertaining to isolation, and rather than it being a struggle for survival on Earth, it is on Mars, where it becomes much more intense, as conditions are much more harsh, and it is much more difficult to communicate with people on Earth. Mark Watney’s struggle with loneliness reveals to us that isolation is the one of the hardest parts of being stranded. With no face to face communication, it can be very difficult to feel any bit of happiness. While it is difficult to be happy, he also at times feels a sense of relief because he has the entire planet to himself, and the silence is extremely relaxing, even when he is struggling with all of these obstacles.
Another big idea this book addresses is suffering. This is addressed through Mark Watney’s many instances of suffering while on Mars. He must ration food portions, he has to be working 24/7 to tend his crops, and he must find a way to communicate with Earth. These instances of suffering are detailed very well, which puts a big focus on them, showing that suffrage is another huge struggle of being stranded. This reveals to us that suffrage and isolation work together to create a greater feeling of strandedness. Isolation influences suffrage because isolation is very much a struggle, and suffrage also influences isolation because Mark Watney’s greatest source of suffering comes from isolation. These two ideas work together to enhance Mark Watney’s struggles on Mars.
Overall, The Martian by Andy Weir is a book which answers the question asking when we will go to mars, and the struggles that will come with it through the big ideas of isolation and suffering, and, together, they create the idea of strandedness. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction and finds themself wondering about life on Mars. If you have read this book, did you think these two big ideas worked together well?