When you’re mom exclaims, ‘Johnny! This is the first night you haven’t wet the bed! I’m so proud of you!!’ There’s good reason for her to be excited. Against all evidence, you’ve broken her expectations! When you’ve been wetting the bed since you were 6 and now you’re 13, she probably expected an ordinary night but instead there’s dry freedom! Congratulations! This situation awards you an accomplishment.
Of course the opposite is also true. You can break expectations in the reverse direction. If we’re following the moral compass…you can break expectations and fail spectacularly! As in, you’ve never crapped your pants before but as soon as you get a stomach bug in the middle of allergy season where you’re sneezing worse than that 27-sneeze girl in class, you do it. Yeah. You shouldn’t be proud.
This book is like that. Well, not the spectacular fail but instead breaking all expectations in a positive, dramatic way.
“Aside to his men [the Earth captain] whispered, “Now we’re getting someplace!” To Mr. Aaa he called, “We traveled sixty million miles. From Earth!” / Mr. Aaa [the alien] yawned. “That’s only fifty million miles this time of year” (Bradbury 27).
How obnoxious! Here these Earthlings traveled all this distance, and no one gives *excuse my language* a crap. Absolutely none. No one could be bothered with this information.
And I love it!
I feel like the general expectation here is if you’re an ‘alien’ then people would react to you. There’s the War of the Worlds reaction: general dooms day apocalypse. There’s the welcoming with open arms, where the aliens donate their technology and culture, which I’m sure exists in some movie or book but whose name I can’t think of at the moment.
Either way, these all deal with reactions.
And this book has none, except boredom.
I like it.
By breaking all my expectations, there’s originality, creativity, and a disguised comment that I haven’t yet become aware of.
I’m enjoying the book so far.
Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1997. Print.