CHID 496

Mars Response Paper


Mars, the reddish planet of war and strength, has many similarities to Earth and many differences as well. Mars, being one of our neighbors in the solar system, came off to me as a competitive planet; Earth’s alter ego if you may. Earth is full of land and water, shining blue and green; while Mars is reddish brown, an inhabitable planet. Since Mars is relatively “so close” to Earth, I feel by nature humans are threatened. In the 1930’s Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds,” radio broadcast sent thousands of people into a haven of panic sincerely believing life on Mars was attacking Earth. Astronomers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries began mapping out Mars in a sense that was pointing to life on Mars, giving people more reason to believe that this was actually a possibility. Mars has symbolism that parallels its appearance, Holst’s music, and the way people emotionally react to it. Mars, being the God of war, strength and man; Mars a red planet; and Holst’s music being angry, war-like, powerful and stern all leads to a very edgy feeling. I feel I should be looking over my shoulder, my adrenaline should be running, and I should be ready for battle. Although we have proven there is absolutely no life on Mars, the symbolism, color and feel Mars gives us, keeps the emotion of paranoia close. Was there once life on Mars? We know there is frozen CO2 in the poles, but could there be ice underneath those caps? Mars, with all of its symbolism, fits Holst’s musical interpretation perfectly.