The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Willie mutters about why the Earth people couldn’t just stay on their own planet and “blow themselves up.” Appalled, Hattie tells her husband that he doesn’t sound very Christian. Quickly, Willie tells the old man that Earth people won’t have to work for the Martians. It becomes clearer that this world is comprised of black people, but that its settlers are young enough to have once lived among mixed races. By telling her husband that he doesn’t “sound human,” Hattie points out how Willie’s desire for revenge has robbed him of his humanity. People look to Willie for cues about how to react to the white man’s speech, again underscoring Willie’s influence over the crowd and the way that mob mentality impairs independent thought. “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Teachers and parents! Hattie Johnson - Wife of Willie Johnson. Calling the Earth people fools, he asks the Martians for permission to use their rockets, which have been sitting unused for twenty years, so that he can bring the Earth people to Mars. Meanwhile, Hattie’s question regarding whether the Martians will lynch the white man clarifies her earlier anxiety while talking to her children; she is worried that the Martians will react vengefully and violently to the white man’s visit. Willie drops the rope to the ground, consequently letting go of his pride and his desire for power, authority, and revenge. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Just as the white man used the word “fools” to refer to himself and his fellow Earth people, Willie also calls himself and his community “fools.” In this way, Willie takes responsibility for emboldening the crowd towards vengeance. Hattie asks her husband to think about what he’s doing, but he snaps that all he’s done for the past twenty years is think about white people and the cruelty and racism the Martians endured on Earth. The old man continues, explaining that cotton fields, cotton mills, and factories have all been destroyed. Everything is radioactive, including the livestock, food, and roads. Three unnamed sons - The Johnson children. Hattie Johnson’s children are buzzing with anticipation over the news: for the first time in twenty years, a white man is coming to Mars. Willie’s idea for Jim Crow laws that target white people reflect the terrible and inhumane treatment black people were subjected to on Earth. Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Other Foot” takes place on Mars, twenty years after all black people have fled the racism and cruelty of Earth to colonize the Red Planet. Historic cities like Paris and London have been reduced to smithereens. Here, the old man finally reveals the purpose of his visit to Mars: to ask the Martians for help by letting the Earth people borrow their rockets and come live on Mars. When the rocket lands, the travelers tell them that the entire Earth has been destroyed, including all of the horrific mementos of racism (such as trees used for lynching blacks). When it lands, the crowd goes silent. When they hear of white men who are coming to land in their settlement, they enact an ironic reversal of Jim Crow, building the town in such a way that segregation targets white people in retribution for what the African-Americans had to suffer while on Earth. On the horizon, the “Martian hills” look like they’re baking in the harsh sun. (including. Assuming “The Other Foot” is set around 1985, there would have been about five billion people on Earth during that time—Earth’s population being reduced to five hundred thousand reflects a planet on the verge of total destruction. Instant downloads of all 1392 LitChart PDFs But heres the day and we cant His impulse to go home and get his guns is a sharp contrast from Mr. Brown’s warm, cheerful affirmation that he just wants to shake the white man’s hand. ”The Other Foot” by Ray Bradbury Essay Sample “The Other Foot” by Ray Bradbury is a thought-provoking short story about prejudice and racism. Hattie also glosses over the Martians’ reason for leaving Earth: racism. Hattie Johnson remembers and tells the children how black people left Earth for Mars years ago, how Earth had a terrible war, and how the people on Earth have only recently rebuilt rockets. They are quickly filled with … War and political strife is the last major motif of the book, designed by Bradbury to reflect the concerns of that era. The way that Lespere has driven an ethically inexcusable life - enjoying polygamy and betting, first off - is Bradbury's method for advised about the extremes of such a state of mind. This hints at the way that racism is a learned behavior, as the boys don’t intrinsically believe that the white man is inferior or superior to them because of his skin color—rather, he is simply different. He adds that there are no surviving houses or people in Greenwater. Ray Bradbury, American author known for his highly imaginative short stories and novels that blend a poetic style, nostalgia for childhood, social criticism, and an awareness of the hazards of runaway technology. Clearly, not everyone is as revenge-minded as Willie. The news reaches towns thousands of miles away, and everyone “lift[s] their dark hands over their upturned white eyes” to block the harsh sunlight as they scan the skies. Mars has been colonized solely by black people. A trolley car pulls up. He tells the Martians that twenty years ago, when they left Earth, World War III broke out. He advocates writing from personal experience, and such is the case in “The Man Upstairs” because Bradbury considers this story a eulogy of sorts to his grandmother whose culinary skills were always a delight to him. Willie’s rage continues to control his behavior and rob him of both empathy and rationality. At last, there is a feeling of recovery in Hollis turning into a star whereupon a young man makes a desire. Although most of the story has centered on the tension between white people and black people, it’s clear that white people aren’t the only race left on Earth. He notes that this young man is typically lean and usually Irish. Summary Hernando waits for the rain to stop so he can resume plowing the fields. Hattie Johnson’s children are buzzing with anticipation over the news: for the first time in twenty years, a white man is coming to Mars. The fact that men are swept up in Willie’s call for a violent, authoritative stand while the women remain helplessly on the sidelines (just like Hattie did earlier) reflects the gendered expectations of masculinity and femininity of Bradbury’s era. This is the first indication that certain aspects of racism and prejudice were destroyed in the war. Mr. Brown says they’re on the way to see the white man. He reaffirms that Earth people have been stupid and evil, and adds that they will work for the Martians and endure whatever treatment they see fit. Hattie explains that white people live on Earth, and that twenty years ago, the Martians did too. Hattie taps into Willie’s painful memory of his father’s hanging in order to show Willie that the hill, lynching tree, and man responsible for the murder have all been destroyed. Once again, by calling for Jim Crow laws that discriminate against white people, Willie consequently shows the inhumane treatment black people were subjected to on Earth. The white man doesn’t make excuses or justifications for the Earth people’s behavior. While people like the Browns resisted Willie’s violent call to action, many others were apparently swept up in Willie’s hatred and hysteria. Hattie reluctantly follows her husband into the house and watches him bustle around the attic, collecting his guns and muttering madly to himself. https://www.slideshare.net/lindarubens/the-other-foot-by-ray-bradbury-2012 Now Willie takes over asking questions, revealing that Hattie’s plan is beginning to work. Because “The Other Foot” was published in 1951, Bradbury was imagining a not-so-distant future; Here, the story clarifies that Hattie and her community live on Mars. When they learn that a rocket is coming from Earth with white travellers, they institute a Jim Crow system of racial segregation in retaliation for how the whites once treated them. This likely touches an emotional nerve among his audience, spurring them to give in to mob mentality and go along with Willie’s emotionally charged plans. He beckons to Martin and the other crew members who want to stay, saying, "We mustn't keep him waiting." The Illustrated Man was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952, and its stories have been adapted many times to such media as movies (The Illustrated Man, 1969), TV (The Ray Bradbury Theater, 1985-86, 1988-92), radio (X Minus One, 1955-57), and even rock opera (The Bradbury Tattoos, 2018). Amazon; The Other Foot Summary. He begins painting the seats, and the conductor quickly objects. Hattie notices that his face looks twisted with bitterness and hatred. Hearing the name Greenwater, Willie’s mouth drops open. Her kids pester her to tell them what white people are like and why they don’t live on Mars. Hattie looks up at the “blue clear Martian sky” painted with “thin white Martian clouds.”. Find a summary of this and each chapter of The Illustrated Man! My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. However, when Ettil reaches Earth, Bradbury turns this science fiction trope on its head while simultaneously critiquing American society. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Fastened to its front is a freshly-painted sign reading, “To the White Man’s Landing.” Crowds of people pour out of the trolley car, including women carrying picnic baskets and men wearing straw hats. Elizabeth Brown - Neighbor of the Johnsons. When Willie says that saw the white man clearly, he means that he was finally able to empathize and find common ground with a people he had hated for so long. The impending arrival of a white man — the first white man to visit Mars since the black people colonized the planet — dredges up the Martians’ deep-rooted feelings of bitterness towards a world that denied their humanity. Willie’s actions reflect the exact “trouble” Hattie expressed concern about earlier in the story. His wife asks if something is wrong and he responds that something big has happened, emptying the road. It is piloted by a white man. Physical artifacts of racism—“lynching trees,” bars populated by racist white men, plantation homes—played a large part in Willie’s long-held anger and bitterness toward the past. The Other Foot. Sometimes Bradbury discovered a self in the past, and sometimes, particularly in his science fiction, he discovered a self in the future. The women are reticent to participate, suggesting they have more empathy than their husbands and don’t want other people to face the same racism, cruelty, and pain that the Martians experienced on Earth. A voracious reader, the young Ray Bradbury was hungry for fantastical books that would let him travel outside the confines of his small Illinois hometown. The seat reads, “For Whites: Rear Section.” Willie asks for volunteers in the growing crowd to paint every streetcar in the city. The Other Foot (1987) Selected from Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed (1991) The Toynbee Convector (1992) The detail about the shortage of rockets on Earth further reveals the extent of the war and destruction it caused. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. This further reflects his humility and belief that Earth people are deserving of the same treatment they subjected the Martians to. When they learn that a rocket is coming from Earth with white travellers, they institute a Jim Crow system of racial segregation in retaliation for how the whites once treated them. Study Resources ... No one is left to enjoy the revenge, which suggests that revenge is an empty goal. Meanwhile, Hattie reveals a way in which racism and prejudice can be dismantled. The town’s mayor tries to get Willie off of his soapbox, saying Willie has formed a mob and is behaving no better than the white men he is shouting about. Struggling with distance learning? The car pulls up in front of the Johnson household, and Willie dashes inside in search of guns and rope. He ignores the fact that she’s clearly uncomfortable, which hints at his inability to empathize with other people and put aside his own pride. Shocking news sweeps across the town, causing “the dark people” stare at the sky in anticipation. Note that Bradbury’s use of the word “Negro” was generally accepted at the time he was writing, though such language would be seen as offensive today. It wasn’t until recently that the Earth people scrapped together enough metal to build a single rocket to reach Mars. Since Willie’s vengefulness is largely fueled by what happened to his parents, Hattie attempts to show Willie that in many ways, justice has already been served for wicked, racist men. Willie asks Hattie if she remembers all of the terrible things the white people did to the Martians, and how Dr. Phillips and Mr. Burton hanged his father on Knockwood Hill and shot his mother. Ray Bradbury is making fun of the science fiction genre, with its "Mick or Rick, or Jick or Bannon," who always defeats the Martians. He refuses to perpetuate a system based on prejudice. By describing the crowd as “one dark body,” Bradbury suggests it is no longer made up of individual people with independent thoughts; rather, the crowd has adopted a mob mentality and bends to Willie’s will. Willie shows that he has good reason to still be angry: his own parents were murdered by racist white men. Hattie oversimplifies the interplanetary migration from Earth to Mars for her children, telling her boys that all black people “just up and walked away and came to mars”—as if doing so were as easy as moving to another town. The Other Foot Summary. “The Highway” also focuses on a minority group: a husband and wife south of the border whose quiet life is disrupted by tourists fleeing nuclear war. If you create a free account and sign in, you will be able to customize what is displayed. Analysis. • Short Summary (Synopsis) • Themes • Mood • Ray Bradbury - Biography • Literary/Historical Information . These details make clear that Hattie is attempting to shield her children from the brutality of the racism that their mother escaped. Watching her husband, Hattie thinks about how she wants to chip away at everyone’s hate so that eventually, all hatred and racism will crumble. The story takes place on Mars, inhabited solely by black people (Martians). Teachers and parents! Because “The Other Foot” was published in 1951, Bradbury was imagining a not-so-distant future; Active Themes. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Willie quickly becomes the unofficial leader of the crowd, showing how one individual has the power to influence the masses. On the way to watch the white man’s arrival at the landing port, Hattie notices that other cars are filled with guns. Telling her children to stay at the house, Hattie runs down the road and sees her neighbors, the Browns, piled into their family car. Willie underscores the ways in which black people on Earth were made to feel unwelcome and alienated in society, a fact that catalyzed their desire to move to Mars. A dense crowd gathers at the landing port, and Willie passes out guns. By tying the rope into a noose, Willie gestures to the United States’ history of racism and cruelty toward black people. Willie is also able to find common ground with the Earth people and empathize with their experience of loneliness and homelessness in the wake of World War III. The repetition of the word “dark, “however, foreshadows the important role race will play in the story. As he waits, he realizes no car has stopped in the past hour, which is unusual as he’s always asked to have his picture taken by tourists driving down the road. Story 3 Summary: “The Other Foot” On Mars, Hattie Johnson and her three sons hear that a rocket is coming. Chapter Summary for Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, the city summary. Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in. The packing boxes serve as Willie’s soapbox, further portraying him as a leader. The old man continues that there are only five hundred thousand people left on the entire planet. On Mars, the Martians finally were able to find peace and a sense of communal belonging, which the white man’s arrival may threaten. Ray Bradbury wrote the story before the civil rights movement began in the mid-1950s. Mars has been colonized solely by black people. Earlier, the crowd was compared to a single body with thousands of arms, and now it is like a “single string” with many “marionette heads.” The puppeteer is Willie, who can manipulate the crowd however he wishes. Chapter Summaries with Notes / Analysis • Prologue: The Illustrated Man • The Veldt • Kaleidoscope • The Other Foot • The Highway • The Man • The Long Rain • The Rocket Man • … Willie is immediately established as being domineering and abrasive. Clutching a noose in his hands, Willie asks the crowd if they’re ready. In Ray Bradbury’s "The Other Foot," there are three main characters: Hattie, Willie, and the captain of the rocket ship. She realizes that if husband lets go of his bitterness, then maybe everyone else will too. This moment foreshadows Willie’s role in stirring up animosity and vengefulness among the Martian community. Rubbing his temples with his fingers, Willie answers that he did: “Seems like for the first time today I really seen the white man—I really seen him clear.”, Instant downloads of all 1392 LitChart PDFs Hattie is hesitant to talk to her boys about race but seems to have no issue talking to them about atomic war and death, suggesting that she’s not trying to protect them from all pain but rather from the specific evil of racism. Ray Bradbury Contents Prologue: The Illustrated Man The Veldt Kaleidoscope The Other Foot The Highway The Man The Long Rain The Rocket Man The Fire Balloons The Last Night of the World The Exiles No Particular Night or Morning The Fox and the Forest The Visitor The Concrete Mixer They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. In “The Other Foot,” black colonists on Mars must decide whether to accept white refugees from Earth. By refusing to give his name, the old man humbles himself and reduces his personal importance. "The Other Foot" is a story about racism. The other foot is a touching twisted version of segregation in the late 1980s. Climbing into the empty trolley. Just as Willie wants to establish Jim Crow laws that target white people, Willie puts the “shoe on the other foot” by bringing a noose to meet the white man. Willie’s fingers tightening on the rope show that his aggression is flaring up. A white man is coming in a rocket to a town on Mars, populated by black people from Earth, who had once fled Earth. Eventually, the Martians “just up and walked away and came to Mars,” but the white people stayed on Earth and entered into a terrible atomic war with one another. The old man specifically says that the cotton fields and cotton mills have been destroyed—artifacts of slavery in the American South. Now, with the arrival of the white man, “the shoe’s on the other foot.” Willie adds that, on Mars, white people will have discriminatory laws leveled against them, be forced to ride in the back of streetcars and sit in the back of theaters, and even get lynched. When the old man finishes his speech, the crowd is silent. Willie, Hattie’s husband, pulls up in his car and gruffly asks the Browns if they’re going to see the white man “like a bunch of fools.” He adds that he is on his way home to get his guns, and that they should consider doing the same. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Hattie asks if a certain Dr. Phillips and Mr. Burton are still alive, and the old man replies that they both died in the war and both of their houses burned down. Willie then forces Hattie to get into the car with him, and the two speed home. Once again, Hattie asks Willie to slow down, and he does the opposite to assert his dominance and power. The Other Foot Setting. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Lynching was often a public act used to threaten and spread fear among black people, and the noose itself became a symbol of white supremacy groups. Boldly stepping forward, she calls for the old man’s attention, asking if he knows “Knockwood Hill in Greenwater, Alabama?” When the old man produces a map, Hattie asks about the big oak tree on the top of the hill. The old man doesn’t introduce himself, saying it doesn’t matter who he is. Get A Copy. Many people watch Willie carefully to see how he will react. Willie thinks about how there are no more “lynching trees,” pubs, or plantation homes. A young boy shouts that the rocket ship is approaching, and “like marionette heads on a single string, the heads of the crowd turn upward.” As the rocket swoops down to Mars, the crowd gasps. The Martians hear rumors and realize that a rocket, from Earth, will soon land on Mars. Willie tells her that in the past twenty years, the Earth people have endured the same feelings of pain, loneliness, and homelessness that the Martians experienced on Earth, meaning that now everyone is “on the same level.” When Hattie and Willie get home, Hattie lets the children out of the house, and they excitedly ask their father if he saw the white man. Willie Johnson - Martian settler seeking revenge on his parents' death by lynching. Now that those artifacts are gone, there is “nothing of it left to hate.” Here, Willie realizes that his reverse Jim Crow laws would actually perpetuate painful memories of racism and create even more pain for everyone, Martians and Earthlings alike. The old man says that the hill and the tree are both gone. The crowd contains people who “wished no participation,” but those people are unable to break away from the mob and act independently, emphasizing the danger of mob mentality and the overwhelming pressure to fit in with a group. This contrast echoes the disparity between Mr. Brown’s hearty laughter at the thought of lynching the white visitor and Willie’s insistence that he bring a rope with the noose already tied. Since then, most of the Earth has been destroyed by atomic bombs. This passage also reveals Willie’s influence in the community at large. Characters. Hattie tentatively asks the Browns if they’re going to lynch the visitor, but the Browns laugh and assure her that they’re going to shake his hand. The Other Foot Quotes. He swiftly moves on to describing the disastrous effects of World War III. Mars, which has been settled by African Americans twenty years earlier. On the way home, Hattie muses that everyone will finally have a fresh start. She accuses her husband of provoking people in the community, and Willie proudly reveals that he stopped at every house earlier that day and told everyone to bring guns and ropes. Mr. Brown’s surprise and cheerfulness suggests that Hattie’s concerns may be overblown. However, when Willie steps back to reveal his handiwork, the conductor is pleased. Willie also asks the crowd to rope off the back two rows in the movie theaters, and several volunteers are chosen. The story begins with an element of confusion, as it’s unclear who “the dark people are” and what they’re looking for in the sky. There is nothing “left to hate,” except for an “alien people” who will be forced to sit in the back of streetcars and theaters. Once again, the old man humbles himself before the Martians, as he recognizes that the Earth people are undeserving of help. His comment about the Earth people “blow[ing] themselves up” further reflects how anger has made him unfeeling and inhumane. 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