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The Fire Balloons by Ray Bradbury
Transcript of The Fire Balloons by Ray Bradbury
(pg 121) Vocab Words Father Stone- Priest from Earth that is second in command of the mission to Mars. He is at first doubtful of everything happening around him but eventually realizes that Father Peregrine's assumptions about the martians were true. Martians- Evolved native Martians that appear as flaming blue spheres. They are the sinless, pure souls of former Martians. Father Mathias- One of the priests on the mission to Mars. He created and took care of the blue sphere that represents the Martian Christ. Mayor of First Town- Greets the priests when they arrive on Mars. Encourages them to take care of the sinners in his town. Phosphorescent- Emitting light without appreciable heat.
(pg 121) Apse- Semicircle area either where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated.
(pg 122) Plot A group of priests are chosen and sent to Mars on a mission to convert and save alien lifeforms from sin. Father Peregrine and Father Stone are unsure about the journey because it might change their understandings of sin but continue anyway because they found excitement over that possibility. Once they arrive on Mars they meet the Mayor of First Town who then tells them that there are two kinds of native Martians. One kind is practically extinct and the other kind are fiery spheres of blue light that are sometimes seen in the mountains. Father Peregrine and Father Stone go off into the mountains to investigate the fiery spheres. Many near death situations occur in the mountains and both priests were saved by the fiery spheres every time which convinced them that the spheres had the ability to think and furthermore convinced them that they had souls that can be saved.
All of the priests decide to build an altar and a blue sphere that represents their God to attract the fiery spheres and save them. Once the fiery spheres arrive, they tell the priests that they were able to get rid of their human bodies and take the form of lightning and blue fire. Since they had no bodies, they got rid of their past sins and could not be saved like humans could. When they return to First Town to report their findings, Father Stone speaks of how different truths can be found on different planets and how they can only discover the whole truth by further exploration. Both priests then conclude that the blue sphere they made is the true representation of God. Theme The mind and body can be separated by what they need and what they want. In the story the characters believe that sin is within the flaws of the body and that without a real body the Martians are free of sin. Important Quotes "Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?" (pg 123) Just because something does not look human does not mean that they don't have human characteristics and feelings. "The way I see it is there's a truth on every planet. All parts of the big truth. On a certain day they'll all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw." (pg 134) We have to explore our surroundings to discover new things. Be open minded. Modern day connection We have a desire to see into the future and predict what will happen while at the same time we don't want to know what's going to happen just like when the priests were unsure of their trip to Mars. They were curious as to what would happen when they got there but at the same time they did not want to know because of the possibilities of new sins. Be open minded. Connection to piece of literature In The Fire Balloons, Father Peregrine is not afraid to give the inhuman Martians a chance before saying that they are monsters. With further investigation he finds out that the fiery spheres were once human and still have human feelings. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag is a fireman who's job is to burn books regardless of what's written in them. He decides to break free from his ignorance and starts reading the books he's supposed to be burning.