The Martians hear rumors and realize that a rocket, from Earth, will soon land on Mars. Well, the white people live on Earth, which is where we all come from, twenty years ago. This reflects the fact that the white man appears weary and drained—and, as such, lacks a threatening presence. Willie drops the rope to the ground, consequently letting go of his pride and his desire for power, authority, and revenge. The repetition of the word “dark, “however, foreshadows the important role race will play in the story. He refuses to perpetuate a system based on prejudice. Willie’s fingers tightening on the rope show that his aggression is flaring up. Instead, they show a childlike curiosity and wonder at the notion of having skin so different from their own. The rocket is due to land later that day, and although her young boys are excited, Hattie has a feeling that the white man’s visit will stir up trouble. 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. Adapting the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus’s famous statement that one cannot step into the same river twice, one could say that no person ever steps twice into the same self. The packing boxes serve as Willie’s soapbox, further portraying him as a leader. The white man is unaware of the Martians’ plan to establish reverse Jim Crow laws, and yet he seems to suggest the very same thing. The emptiness of revenge (The Other Foot) The children are excited, but Hattie is nervous. Because “The Other Foot” was published in 1951, Bradbury was imagining a not-so-distant future; Active Themes. 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. Summary Hernando waits for the rain to stop so he can resume plowing the fields. 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. 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. Hattie’s young boys have no concept of racial tension and appear utterly aware of the long, grim history of racism on Earth. Willie’s actions reflect the exact “trouble” Hattie expressed concern about earlier in the story. Once again, however, Willie coldly ignores his wife’s concerns, reflecting the tunnel vision created by anger. This passage also reveals Willie’s influence in the community at large. 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. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Barreling outside, Willie rounds up the children and tells them that he’s locking them up—he doesn’t want them to see or even talk about the white man. Hattie looks up at the “blue clear Martian sky” painted with “thin white Martian clouds.”. Three unnamed sons - The Johnson children. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Willie suggests that other Martians have been too quick to let go of their painful memories of racism and bitterness toward white people. The old man specifically says that the cotton fields and cotton mills have been destroyed—artifacts of slavery in the American South. He tells the Martians that twenty years ago, when they left Earth, World War III broke out. Willie also asks the crowd to rope off the back two rows in the movie theaters, and several volunteers are chosen. The Other Foot Setting. It wasn’t until recently that the Earth people scrapped together enough metal to build a single rocket to reach Mars. One of the ways technology disrupts families is by replacing the parents. Willie is immediately established as being domineering and abrasive. Learn more about Bradbury’s life and career. He adds that there are no surviving houses or people in Greenwater. 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. Mr. Brown’s surprise and cheerfulness suggests that Hattie’s concerns may be overblown. Since then, most of the Earth has been destroyed by atomic bombs. The car pulls up in front of the Johnson household, and Willie dashes inside in search of guns and rope. Hattie also glosses over the Martians’ reason for leaving Earth: racism. Shortage of rockets on Earth in 1965 from Earth s door slides open, and Willie dashes in. 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