Red Mars Part 3: Death & Redemption
Even after writing my second paper on some of the finer points of Red Mars, I continue to wonder if Frank’s death is redemptive. Was his the only “good death” in the novel, since he literally died in service of saving others? Is he, rather than John, the novel’s real messaiah, in spite of his myriad faults and personal shortcomings? If so, what does that say about his political methods? Can one be a “good” Machiavellian? Does Frank’s last act of heriosm redeem him from the eariler murder of his ‘friend’ John? Does it absolve him of not coming clean to Maya about what he did when he had the chance? Personally, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for people to eventually expose Frank for John’s murder; yet, it never happened. Was it, then, the perfect murder? Or just a plot device to rid the novel of its obvious “darling” (you know, Flannery O’Connor always said writers need to kill their darlings in order to break the story out)? Ultimately, what are we to make of the way Frank died?