In part four of Red Mars, Michel’s constant reminiscences of his life and home back on Earth represents two ideas. First, it signals that not all of the first 100 on Mars are happy with their new lot in life, in fact many view their being on Mars as being trapped in a kind of Hell, one in which they are cut off from all that they know and all that they loved from their home planet. These people are trapped here, in artificial heat, surrounded by walls that prevent them from journeying outside without a protective suit. Michel and the rest of the disillusioned will never know another livable planet in their life spans, as Mars is still considered three hundred years away from being rendered livable for humans. These people have given up all that they loved in the pursuit of science, and they are now locked into their decision to journey to this new place, light years away from all that they have known. The problem of members of the first 100 becoming disillusioned is exacerbated by the fact that Michel is the one in charge of using psychological theory to attempt to keep the populace happy and productive. If he should fall deeper into his intense homesickness for the world that he left behind, it would only fuel an even bigger problem if he or his methods were to be rendered ineffective, as surely more and more of the populace could fall victim to a sense of homesickness as well, thus creating the possibility that the colony as a whole becomes ineffective in advancing the colonization of Mars.
Michel’s line of thinking about his home on Earth, which constantly forces it’s way into his mind throughout his passage, is dangerous. The world that was left behind, that can never be brought back, is constantly lingering in Michel’s and probably others’ minds. In fact Michel even puts the notion into his own mind that he can and should ask for the manufacture of a Mediterranean Sea on Mars, as if it’s that simple. Michel refuses to leave Earth, and his past there, behind and he allows it to constantly insert itself into his mind throughout his story. This is a dangerous line of thinking, as Mars is it’s own beast entirely, fraught with dangers unseen. Moreover Mars is not, and never will be Earth. It may be terra formed into a livable planet at some point in the near future, but it will never be exactly like what the colonists left behind on Earth, it will be it’s own planet entirely and life there will be completely different from any that the colonists could live back on Earth. To constantly think about what is left behind is to live one’s life looking backwards, blinding yourself to what lies ahead, including both the inherent danger and the opportunity; in this case the opportunity to craft an entire world to your vision.