Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi, The Rocket, scenes 5 and 6:
In today’s episode, Fiorello Bodoni tries to get back to just living. He’s trying to forget about rockets and Mars so that he won’t have to face disappointment again. His reality is the small world of his junkyard, his broken down machinery, and a family that is relying on him to provide for them.
Turning Down the Chance of a Lifetime:
In our last episode, Fiorello was trying to choose who would get to go to Mars — his wife, one of his children, or himself. When logical reasoning couldn’t settle it, he turned to drawing straws. But even that failed. Of course, they all wanted to go, but what it came down to was a deep fear that their chance of a lifetime would make the others jealous and destroy their relationships.
Feet on the Ground:
With his hopes dashed, Fiorello returns to his work in the junkyard. He has some junk to recycle, but his machinery is getting old. He knows his money needs to be invested in new equipment, like a new furnace to melt down metal. He’s trying to be practical and realistic. He’s trying to face reality instead of dreaming of flights to Mars, when along comes a huge temptation. What can one man do when faced with such a big temptation? When would he ever have this opportunity again?
It finally seems like Fiorello’s dream has become reality. Unfortunately, he finds out that a compromise is a huge disappointment. Settling for second best is emotionally painful.
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Bodoni couldn’t resist getting his own rocket. He tried to turn down Matthews special deal and make a practical, responsible choice about what to do with his money, but he couldn’t bear to lose this chance. The rocket, however, is just a model. Sometimes when we can’t reach our dream, we settle for second-best. It is often just a shadow of the real thing. After we’ve compromised, accepted second-best, we often become disillusioned with it. It’s just a disappointing fake.
Bodoni becomes very angry at the rocket and at his unrealistic dream. It is beyond his grasp, unreachable, and it seems to be laughing at him. He is ready to destroy the rocket, and hopefully, all traces of his dream. It has hurt him too much.
Then just as he is about to carry through on his threat, he gets a brilliant idea. “We’re going to Mars!” he announces to his family. What do you think he’s going to do with the rocket? Take a wild guess. What do you think? Leave your answer in the comments below.