Red Mars – Option A

The argument of my paper is that during times that the book uses religious words/descriptions that is when we catch glimpses of the characters “true” self. Throughout the text we find many instances where the characters are wearing either some type of physical or metaphorical mask. But whenever we find characters relating anything to spiritual experiences/descriptions we catch a glimpse of the individual or “true” self. And by religion I am referring to Christianity. I came to this conclusion because there are not many religious writings in this book and when it does show up it is coupled with people who do not consider themselves spiritual. An example would be on page 307 between John and Phyllis. John sees Phyllis as herself not her mask as she passionately explained things to the visiting consultants, John, and Helmut. So, in my paper I will outline the difference between personality and individuality and its connection to spirituality. Then I will move to my examples of masks being used by various characters, followed by the masks being used with some type of spiritual explaining, and tie up that connection. That even if a person claims to not be religious some most basic part of our self is pulled towards some transcendental belief/religion and that pull/link to our truest most basic self is what lets us know when we find parts of the character’s true self that we can believe. The marked lack of spiritual examples is what hints at that people can never really be themselves again.

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