“This is where we start again.” In just a few thoughts, Robinson buries old Mars—the Mars described over and over again rolling like the dunes mentioned in the italicized last section of the novel. Throughout the entire novel, there is so much discussion of red. The red rock beneath the feet, the purely descriptive part at the beginning of the Crucible— there are people who slowly, literarily, become the physical Mars.
The descriptions exist because Mars is new. It s a different place than Earth and even however many years that it is inhabited, Robinson must continue to describe Mars countlessly because otherwise we may slip into terrestrializing (not a word, but it will work) a place beyond foreign-ness (there’s another one). Mars must be kept separate from a place we did not necessarily enter into for the purpose of taking over. If anything, we rose out of Earth and made it home. So out of home for home with regards to Earth. But Mars was never that way in this novel. It always only existed for the sake of colonization not in a way that the Earth. In fact, people who colonized on Earth, as mentioned, still arose out of it, but in this novel, humanity undergoes a sort of retrogression with the geologization (#3) that occurs. They turn from man to mars rather than Earth to ergo.
But in this last section, Mars is hidden in a blanket of white. I think there is still something to be said about colors and archetypes. Mars is red. An archetype cannot necessarily be drawn from that as much because Mars is. It existed before we patterned literature. But Robinson writes the snow in and the snow covers the red to the point of it being under the dome, “gently rolling red sand,” (571). Mars is covered in white, washed out and a new home has been established. White is innocent sure, white is pure sure, but white is also the beginning and Robinson here seems to be making an argument about the nature of colonization. There is always another new.
‘’This is home,’ Hiroko said. ‘This is where we start again.’”
In the same way that Red was described over and over again to drive in the locality, so too is white (and some blue to contrast against the red throughout most likely) emergent in nearly every paragraph and littered through the entire little italicization. Red is gone as far as the end of the novel is concerned; it is now a new place. And it speaks also to how replaceable a place is in a colonial mindset. It was not because of Mars in particular, in the same way that there is a new home, where just as easily can history and 572 pages of activity happen. This is a new home, another place for existence that the settlers have inhabited and made their own.