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Man from Mars

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"The Man from Mars" In the short story "The Man from Mars" by Margaret Atwood, Christine, the main character, is pursued by "a person from another culture." As the Christine's relationship with this man evolves, her ideas about people from another culture begin to surface. Her views are results of her mother's ideologies and her social background. The story exposes prejudice attitudes in a person who thinks she has, "done my bit for internationalism." From the beginning, Christine expresses a general ignorant attitude towards people who are of a different cultural background from her. The two people in the story who expose her to different cultures are the man who is pursuing her and the servant girl. Christine describes the man as what her family would refer to him, "a person from another culture." ...read more.


When the man is invited to Christine's house for tea, the mother states, "I think it's a very nice gesture for us to make." The attitude of helping another who is not as privileged reinforces the unequal status between both parties and further inhibits sincere understanding of the different culture. She believes should not continue her involvement because she has, "done my bit for internationalism." Christine exemplifies her dispassionate concern for the man when she expresses her wish to not get involved. During the investigation one policeman said when referring to people like the man pursuing Christine, "That kind don't hurt you, they just kill you. You're lucky you aren't dead." Her mother, perhaps thinking "that kind" referred to "people of another culture," went further to say that the thing about people from another culture was that you could never tell whether they were insane or not because their ways were so different. ...read more.


Though the girl is pregnant the mother refuses to dismiss her. The mother is said to pride herself in her tolerance. The mother's pride casts a haze over the her ability to identify with "people of another culture." The servant girl, in Christine's perspective, is progressively less easy to get along with. The servant girl's manner indicates discontentedness with her life, in which the family's ignorance only causes more frustration. The short story revealed prejudice attitudes prevalent in society's elite class. Atwood acknowledges the attitude but does not allow the characters themselves to acknowledge it. In today's society, being prejudice or ignorant is disapproved. Many times when the issue of prejudice and ignorance is brought up, people automatically dismiss it because they believe themselves to lack these behaviors. This belief only hinders a person from recognizing his or her own ignorance and a common understanding among "people of another culture." ...read more.

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