FEBRUARY 2002: The Locusts CHARACTERS No specific ones. CONFLICT Protagonist - Settlers who arrive on Mars. Antagonist - The forbidding Martian landscape. Climax - The settlements grow and start to assert themselves. Outcome - The colonization of Mars continues afoot, making the planet more Earthian little by little. THEMES The progress of colonization, as the civilizing forces of humanity - builders, women, actual towns - begin to make their presence known on Mars. The rockets are likened to locusts, swarming towards Mars and covering it. Summary This prose poem evokes the process of colonization and of the attempt to turn the strange surroundings into something more familiar and inhabitable. At the end of this vignette, it's noted that ninety thousand colonizers have already settled, with many more coming to Mars. Notes The title of this story may or may not refer obliquely to Nathanael West's 1939 novel, Day of the Locust, about people searching for success in contemporary Hollywood. One may argue that the influence of ambition and human frailty is as important a part of Martian settlement as in the surreal world of Hollywood.
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