In the beginning of the novel, Frank says, “We came here to make something new” (4). However, I was a little perplexed when we received a very similar statement an entire 568 pages onward from that point. At the end of the novel, Hiroko says, “This is home. This is where we start again” (572).
Although, I do think that they have reached an alternative version of Mars. It has become a more polar land with water rather than a solid red formation that was previously given, but I thought that the initial landing on Mars was the beginning that was being sought. Red Mars begins with a beginning and ends with a beginning. I am yet again thinking whether Red Mars will move forward with the dysfunctions of humankind and transformative nature, or Red Mars will continue with a cycle of beginnings that never truly have an end.
As a result, I am guided toward questions with what Robinson may be trying to convey. So I ask: What does the novel tell us about the actions of humankind? What actually causes destruction: Human intervention with nature or human choice?
For question one, I think Red Mars tells us that humankind can be seen as a bit of a mess. The novel does have moments of characters caring deeply for Mars and one another, but I think the destruction occurred despite the caring. It’s as though the destruction could not be contained, so I am given a speculative answer to the second question. On one hand, I think the transformation of nature does not seem to have a positive result. However, I think the novel supplies that transformation will occur either way. It’s similar to Ann, who loved the purity of Mars, understanding that her observation of Mars was removing the sense of untouched nature. She simply wanted to study and become familiar with Mars, but I think she was mildly accepting that Mars was becoming altered simply by those actions without much transformation.
Overall, I think the novel pinpoints the destruction on the characters that take the transformation a little too far with the combination of human nature. If Ann was alone on Mars, I do not see much destruction occurring even though there was a disruption of nature. Therefore, I think Robinson may be alluding to a boundary of transformation that every beginning provides. It is well know that transformation and destruction of nature cannot stop, but I think every beginning supplies a boundary of respect and choice that will either be respected or not. I cannot pinpoint an ending because I think every beginning will supply yet another answer and course of action. It’s always going to be a question until another beginning will not be supplied.