The Visitor


Ray Bradbury

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Themes and Colors
Selfishness and Greed Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Home Theme Icon
Meaning and Imagination Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Visitor, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Selfishness and Greed

Ray Bradbury’s “The Visitor” is above all an allegory about the corrosive nature of greed. In the story, men who have contracted “blood rust”—a contagious and incurable terminal disease—have been sent to live out their final months on Mars. When the arrival of Leonard Mark, the titular visitor, offers an escape from the desolate isolation of their quarantine, every man grows eager to keep this new “treasure” for himself—yet in their violent selfishness, they…

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Isolation, Loneliness, and Home

Saul Williams’s first thought upon waking up to another quiet Martian morning is “how far away” the Earth is. Well before Leonard Mark’s arrival, Bradbury establishes the incredible sense of isolation that Saul—and all the Martian exiles—must feel, having been torn from the familiarity not simply of their individual homes, but of their entire home planet. By emphasizing the men’s intense longing for Earth and desperate wish for meaningful social interaction, Bradbury argues…

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Meaning and Imagination

Despite being terminally ill, the exiled Martian men seem not to fear death itself so much as the lack of mental stimulation that their long, drawn out dying entails. Mars is distinctly devoid of opportunities for intellectual stimulation, a fact that proves especially challenging for the philosophy-loving Saul Williams. Saul rejects desire for bodily pleasures like women and food, instead insisting that all he wants is Earth, “a thing for the mind and not…

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