Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Moving is often a scary process, especially when one moves to a faraway or unfamiliar place. Therefore, it’s no surprise that in the story “The Naming of Names” by Ray Bradbury, the main character, Harry Bittering, has difficulties accepting the fact that he and his family are stranded on a planet with once-familiar objects changing rapidly before his eyes. Because the lawn has turned violet and the cow is growing a third horn, Harry becomes concerned that he and his family will change as well, and fights this to the best of his ability by refusing to eat food grown on Martian soil. Instead, he eats food that has been brought from Earth to Mars and stored in their deep freezer. He also desperately refuses to give up hope that they can one day return to Earth, and decides to take action himself by building a rocket to transport his entire family back to their home. However, Harry starts accepting the changes that have been taking place that are associated with living on Mars. In this way, Harry Bittering is a dynamic character in the story “The Naming of Names.”
Although Harry stubbornly rejects the Martian food, saying that it is ‘poisoned’, he gradually comes to see that he does not have any alternative and that the supply of Earth food will someday be exhausted. Hence, when his wife, Cora, tells him that there is no more Earth food left, he agrees to eat a Martian sandwich with very little resistance, as evidenced by this quote: “His wife took him aside a few days later. ‘Harry, I’ve used up all the food in the deep freezer. There’s nothing left. I’ll have to make sandwiches using food grown on Mars.’ He sat down heavily. ‘You must eat,’ she said. ‘You’re weak.’ ‘Yes,’ he said. He took a sandwich, opened it, looked at it, and began to nibble at it.’” This is a sign of change taking place. Also, readers can witness Harry’s transformation from the eyes of the people around him. Sam, Harry’s neighbor, treated him like a child previously when he was attempting to build the rocket. However, after Harry agreed to go live up at the villas in the mountains and come back to town in the autumn, along with most of the other townsfolk, Sam, as well as the other neighbors, begin to accept him more and treat him as a peer and equal. Lastly, Harry agreed to his children’s requests for changing their names into Martian names, such as Linnl, Ttil, and Werr, even though it used to bother him. After Harry and his family moved into the villa permanently, his children engage in traditional Martian activities, showing that he is fine with his children becoming completely Martian mentally. These are all ways that show Harry’s personal change.
In conclusion, Harry Bittering is a character who changes very much during the story “The Naming of Names.” He starts accepting the natural course of life on Mars, thus earning back the respect from his peers which he had previously lost due to his foolish actions. In the end, Harry becomes entirely Martian and seems to have lost all memory of his past life as a human. Though Harry was not entirely wrong to have wanted life to go on as it had before, we should learn that change is natural and not necessarily good or bad.