The Concrete Mixer (Bradbury)

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The Concrete Mixer
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An apprehensive Martian is taken by surprise when he lands on Earth, only to be welcomed enthusiastically by the humans. Eventually, he realizes their hospitality is a strategic part of their commercialization plan.

Martian citizen Ettil Vrye, facing the scorn of his fellow-Martians for refusing to join the Martian invasion of Earth, found himself arrested and taken aboard the invasion fleet against his will.

Ettil Vrye — narrator; scared, loyal to his Martian heritage; feels discomfort and tension in Earth.

Convinced that the Martians' plan to invade Earth would spell their inevitable defeat, Ettil remained apprehensive as they made the journey.

'No, I don’t believe Earthmen can actually do that—no. But they have a background, understand, Assignor, of generations of children reading just such fiction, absorbing it.'

Upon arrival, however, instead of retaliating, Earth's response to the invasion was unexpectedly warm and hospitable. From girlish giggles emanating from beauty salons to bustling movie theaters and seemingly harmless traffic mishaps, all Martian received a hearty welcome. A profoundly disoriented Ettil was picked up by R.R Van Plank, an ambitious Hollywood producer who hired Ettil as a technical advisor for a movie he planned to make about the Martian invasion.

R.R. Van Plank (Rick) — an Earthling businessman; opportunistic, sees Martians primarily as consumers.

As Van Plank nonchalantly listed out his plans to profit from the Martian invasion, Ettil, struck by the quiet horrifying realization of Earth's true weapon against them, made a desperate attempted to escape, only to meet his demise under the wheels of a speeding car driven by a group of merry-making teenagers.