An early settler who suffers from the low oxygen levels on Mars.
Another settler who explains Driscoll's medical condition to him.
The unnamed official who agrees to let Driscoll plant trees across Mars.
Benjamin Driscoll, who plants trees to enrich Mars' oxygen.
The Martian landscape, which doesn't have enough oxygen.
Trees spring up overnight.
Driscoll passes out upon witnessing this sudden miracle.
The major theme is the continued colonization process, as steps are
taken to make it more inhabitable by Earthians - even those less suited
to its environs, such as Driscoll. A minor, related theme is the satisfaction
of finding a productive role in a new society: Driscoll gains satisfaction
in knowing he's providing a unique benefit to Mars and the settlers, one
that directly helps him but also every other Earthian.
Taking inspiration from Johnny Appleseed, Benjamin Driscoll walks around
Mars, planting trees to grow. Settling at his campfire one evening, he
reminisces of when he first arrived on Mars: to his surprise, he found
himself unable to breathe comfortably due to the low oxygen levels and
fainted. When the doctor recommends that he return to Earth, Driscoll
refused and came up with his tree-planting mission. This is approved by
the Co-ordinator, who warned Driscoll there'd be little support for this
idea in the mining communities of the early settlements. In the present
day, Driscoll awakes at his campfire as a steady rainfall began; he basks
in the rain, happy with his situation, then goes back to sleep. The next
morning, he wakes to the miracle of full-grown trees blossoming around
him, and faints.
Oddly, no mention of abundant trees on Mars are made in any subsequent stories.
If anything, the arid, dessert-like nature of Mars continues to be emphasized
in later stories.
Cite this page:
Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Martian Chronicles".
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