Stranger in a Strange Land Essay

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Stranger in a Strange Land is a book written by Robert A. Heinlein that completely throws away the social mores of the late fifties/ early sixties society. The book opens with a ship returning from a trip to Mars with an interesting passenger, a man, Michael Valentine Smith who was the son of a previous voyage to Mars that was believed to be entirely dead. This was a human raised by Martians, who are an ancient race that has various powers that are discovered later in the book to be possessed by Smith through his knowledge of their language. When Smith gets to earth the U.S. government, under the pretense that he is not well sequesters him away in a hospital. Smith is spirited away by a nurse and her reporter friend. Smith is taken to…show more content…
In the book Heinlein followed and influenced some of the 1960’s counterculture. The Hippie movement started in the early sixties and continued in force until roughly 1970 (Hippies and 1960’s counterculture). Hippies rebelled against their parents’ conformity and many ran away from home to experiment with their lives and what they could do. Heinlein wrote Stranger in 1962, although in letters to his editor he had been thinking about writing the book since the late forties (Grumbles from the Grave), the book was a huge success largely thanks to the 1960’s counterculture as the book portrays many of their ideals. Stranger in a Strange Land falls in perfect step with the Free Love movement influencing it in a few ways; in the book Michael Valentine Smith creates a small commune in which sex is common, shared, and without jealousy, sex for Smith starts at a “young” age, although he is a man, socially he has had no experience. This book came about at a time when the hippie movement was gaining steam and it influenced hippie leaders in how they viewed sex the book was written in direct opposition to the social standards of the fifties and it is very different with its
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