The book Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein was published in 1950, when culture consisted of new teenage rebellion. It was written in the years following World War 2. However, this book was not about the war, but mainly about the authors view on a solution to a worldwide problem in the future. The main character of this book, who was in his teenage years, was William Lermer. The central characters that surrounded him were Bills father George, his deceased mother Anne, his stepmother Molly, and his stepsister Peggy.
George nd Anne had a great influence on shaping Bills character, George being the main role model. Bill would go to George for advice all the time. He would act on a decision the way he thought George would. They called each other by their first names, which showed that they had great trust and togetherness. Although Anne was not with Bill physically, she was with him emotionally. In Bills mind, Anne was the one who gave him an emotional push when he needed one. Bill learned his way of independence and his sense of family and morals from the both of them.
The books general theme was how an individual and a community of people cope and interact through life-changing and traumatic events. It proclaimed how someone can change and become stronger through a period of major occurrences, no matter what the age factor may be. The primary concept of this book was to show how people cope with issues facing mankind in a broader sense. Furthermore, it was how they dealt with dependence, in themselves and others. The time period of this story takes place sometime in the future, when overpopulation had become a problem.
Supplies, such as food, had been rationed. This book was an intriguing insight into a 1950s authors outlook on the future. The author used his experiences of coming through a world in the midst of war in situations in the book. Heinlein had ideas to solving the overpopulation problem, but it was not by commanding man. His idea was colonization in a whole new place, which was one of Jupiters moons. It was interesting to see how a society that had all its resources back on Earth start a new life from practically nothing on a place billions of miles away.
There were many examples of symbolism in this story, which represented both the authors and societys values and morals. The Boy Scouts was something Bill was part of his whole life, on Earth and on the new colony. For a lifetime, the Boy Scouts have taught people good values, like seeing things through to the end and being able to survive no matter what the conditions. It also emphasized good character in people. To add to that, family was stressed in this story. The Lermers always stuck together as a family in moving to a new colony, starting a ew life, and through disaster.
Moreover, the story began too abruptly. It left the reader bewildered in the beginning about the time and the setting, and what was going on in the background. However, the book was crafted very well. Through the authors words, a view on society and their morals was expressed. He used a third-person technique to tell the story. The main character told story, but also acted as an observer throughout the whole story. The vivid and very realistic world that he described made me wonder what the future holds for us.