Our language teacher, Pilar Pando, gave us a task. The activity consisted in answering a set of questions of the short story «Dumb martian». Here are the questions and below them, my answers.
- 1) The attitude in the society about buying female martians seemed to be very racist since only women were sold. Also, after reading the story, we can understand that this society practiced slavery and discriminate other people.
- 2) At the begging of the story Weaver is going to Jupiter IV/II, Jupiter’s second largest moon which goes round Jupiter’s fourth largest moon. He is going there for 5 years. His appointment was as Station Officer.
- 3) Lellie was a martian. She was very small and was hardly more than one and a half meters tall. Her eyes were unnaturally round and large so that she always looked innocence and surprise, stupid (dumb). Her arms, legs and shoulders were slight but her chest was very big compared with an Earth – woman’s. Her years were long and her hair brown touched with red. Her skin was very pale.
- 4) We can understand that Lellie is a possesion of Duncan by the way she is treated. This quote explains how he mistreated her, «You need to be punished more often, then you’ll do as I ask». Meaning, she is like an object for him. She must do what he said, otherwise she’ll be hit.
- 5) When Duncan taught Lellie how to play chess, she started beating him. So he justified he was loosing the game because his mind was different from the one that it was required, «He decided that he did not have the right kind of mind for the game», meaning he was not inferior to play it, but his way of thinking was different. He tried to think he was intelligent but seeing Lellie, a «dumb martian», defeating him, made him going mad.
- 6) The part in which Weaver is verbal and physical abuse at it’s wort is after Lellie won him playing a difficult game of cards. He was angry because he hated Jupiter and also everything Lellie did annoyed him, specially because she could accept the problems of her life better than he could, just because she was a «dumb martian». So the fact that he was always and only seeing Lellie, the martian with not expressions at all, made him going mad. He wanted Lellie to make a smile but when he forced her to do it, she rejected by saying «No, my face is not rubber like an Earth face». And when Weaver was trying to attack her, Lellie put her hands up to protect her face and protested «No, no … no». For me, this is very important because I think Lellie won a little of respect there and showed she was brave and clever since she could understand the situation and protected herself at the same time.
- 7) Weaver described Alan as «Snoozy, ritzy and snazzy». This type of language is new so I am going to put the definitions here.
Snoozy: a person who is always looking sleepy or bored or tired and is very quiet but has a completely different inside personality with girls
Snazzy: To be well dressed, have really stylish clothes on and generally look good
After knowing the meaning of those words, we can understand how different Alan and Weaver were. On the one hand, Alan was a polite, kind, hard-working and well dressed. While, on the other hand, Weaver was aggressive, a bully, abusive, selfish, lazy and mean.
- 8) Lellie’s quotation about female emancipation makes Weaver felt so angry because he started a fight with Alan. They were fighting about the fact that Lellie should or shouldn’t be treated like an intelligent Earth – woman. I mean, Lellie was learning new things that Weaver hadn’t taught her before. That made him felt angry because that would complicate the fact that he was not going to be able to control Lellie anymore. Because she was taught how she really must be treated.
- 9) I don’t agree with the phrase «she was a dumb mart». Maybe she seemed to be dumb, but obviously she was not. At the end of the story she proved she was really smart, since she waited for the exact moment to «attack» Weaver. Also the agent told Duncan an important fact about martians, however, as he was the real dumb, he didn’t take it in account, «Don’t forget that they were a very clever race once». As I have just write, I think that the dumb one was not Lellie, it was Duncan in fact.
- 10) In my opinion, the message of this story is that we don’t have to judge people over their appearance. We do not have to stereotype, because Duncan thought Lellie was a dumb martian, but at the end, she proved she wasn’t. Duncan was the one prejudiced for stereotyping. So we don’t have to stereotype, because at the end, the ones who were stereotyped, are going to surprise us. I personally believed that now a days, people do stereotype other people. That is not fair because you are judging people you don’t know, before hand. So we must avoid that.