The Other Foot Summary. While people like the Browns resisted Willie’s violent call to action, many others were apparently swept up in Willie’s hatred and hysteria. However, when Ettil reaches Earth, Bradbury turns this science fiction trope on its head while simultaneously critiquing American society. But heres the day and we cant The repetition of the word “dark, “however, foreshadows the important role race will play in the story. Elizabeth Brown - Neighbor of the Johnsons. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. 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. For the second time, Willie gestures to the story’s title. Well, the white people live on Earth, which is where we all come from, twenty years ago. 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. On a roll, Willie shouts that new laws need to be passed banning intermarriages. The seat reads, “For Whites: Rear Section.” Willie asks for volunteers in the growing crowd to paint every streetcar in the city. A colony of African-Americans has been sent from Earth and is now living on Mars. War defines several stories, including … Mars has been colonized solely by black people. Willie drops the rope to the ground, consequently letting go of his pride and his desire for power, authority, and revenge. 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. It is piloted by a white man. https://www.slideshare.net/lindarubens/the-other-foot-by-ray-bradbury-2012 However, when Willie steps back to reveal his handiwork, the conductor is pleased. Hattie’s young boys have no concept of racial tension and appear utterly aware of the long, grim history of racism on Earth. When a trolley car pulls up, Willie climbs up into it, lugging a gallon of paint. 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. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. Summary Hernando waits for the rain to stop so he can resume plowing the fields. Several people race off to begin their task. 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, 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. We just up and walked away and came to Mars and set down and built towns and here we are. Quickly, Willie tells the old man that Earth people won’t have to work for the Martians. Willie shows that he has good reason to still be angry: his own parents were murdered by racist white men. Hattie wisely decides to focus her efforts on dismantling her husband’s hatred rather than trying to go up against the entire crowd. Mr. Brown’s surprise and cheerfulness suggests that Hattie’s concerns may be overblown. 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. Historic cities like Paris and London have been reduced to smithereens. 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. 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. By calling the Earth people fools (himself included), the white man shows humility and willingness to set aside his pride. 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. The old man specifically says that the cotton fields and cotton mills have been destroyed—artifacts of slavery in the American South. Telling her children to stay at the house, Hattie runs down the road and sees her neighbors, the Browns, piled into their family car. 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. Willie also asks the crowd to rope off the back two rows in the movie theaters, and several volunteers are chosen. Willie thinks about how there are no more “lynching trees,” pubs, or plantation homes. 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. By refusing to give his name, the old man humbles himself and reduces his personal importance. 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. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The packing boxes serve as Willie’s soapbox, further portraying him as a leader. The emptiness of revenge (The Other Foot) In the book's Introduction, Ray Bradbury says one of his story ideas was "What if you landed on a far world the day after Christ had just left?" Meanwhile, Hattie reveals a way in which racism and prejudice can be dismantled. 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. Hattie looks up at the “blue clear Martian sky” painted with “thin white Martian clouds.”. 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 Everybody's thought on this day, thinking it'd never be.Thinking,What kind of day would it be if the white man ever came up here to Mars? The children are excited, but Hattie is nervous. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. In “The Other Foot,” black colonists on Mars must decide whether to accept white refugees from Earth. Once again, Hattie asks Willie to slow down, and he does the opposite to assert his dominance and power. Once again, however, Willie coldly ignores his wife’s concerns, reflecting the tunnel vision created by anger. This moment foreshadows Willie’s role in stirring up animosity and vengefulness among the Martian community. 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