‘The Book That Saved the Earth’ is a
humorous play written by CLAIRE BOIKO. It is a science fiction involving the
characters most of whom are aliens from Mars.
play describes how ‘Mother Goose’ a well-known book of nursery rhymes in
English, was successful in saving the planet Earth from a Martian invasion.
play is about how Martian invasion is foiled by a book which is an important
medium of education, and how language is a powerful tool to establish earth’s
supremacy over other planets which don’t have books.
dialogues are interesting and clever and are able to expose the main plot of
the play and speak all about the characters.
characters like Think Tank and his apprentice, Noodle are most important elements
of the play, who reveal the story and add humour and interest to the
development of the story.
play expounds the age old truth that education is the most powerful tool of
civilisation, advancement and progress, but half knowledge and incomplete
information is highly dangerous.
curtain rises in the Museum of Ancient History: Department of the Twentieth Century
on the Planet Earth. The Historian talked about a Martian invasion in the year
2040. She showed the video where, in the opening scene two Martians, Think Tank
and Noodle were talking about their invasion fleet which they had sent on the
Earth to invade it. Think Tank considered that he was the most intelligent creature
and worthy ruler of Mars though he was not. Noodle used to speak to him using
salutations and give him due respect considering him his boss. Noodle
established contact with the crew who had landed in Centreville Library on
Tank started speaking to his crew – Iota, Omega and Oop and asked them to
describe the place and the weird things they were holding in their hands. The
crew didn’t know that they had arrived at an Earth library and were perplexed
about what books were for, as they hadn’t ever seen a book. They were misled by
Think Tank who mistook those weird looking things for sandwiches and asked the
crew to eat the sandwiches to prove him right.
Noodle found out that those things are not be eaten but, were intended for communication.
Then, Think Tank ordered them to listen to the books which he considered to be ‘communication
sandwiches’ After Noodle's advice and reminder the crew took vitamins and were
able to read the book after that. The crew chose the book ‘Mother Goose’ a
collection of nursery rhymes to read. But, they could only read the words. They were
not able to understand proper explanation of the rhymes because it was tough
for them to read figurative meaning from the books.
interrupted and started explaining the rhymes. He also felt terrified and
disturbed to know that earthlings had advanced to mix agriculture with mining
and discovered to grow cockle shells and rare metals in their fields. He was
extremely horrified after hearing the lines like ‘cow jumped over the moon’, ‘a
little dog laughed’, and ‘dish ran away with a spoon’. Think-Tank believed that
Earthlings have advanced to the point where even pets can be raised to have
emotions and domestic animals had been trained to go in space. He concluded that
Earthlings had taught millions of cows to launch interplanetary invasion.
seeing the image of 'Humpty Dumpty' which resembled Think-Tank's large balloon shaped head, he was
terrified of the lines 'Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,' fearing that
Earthlings would seize Mars and overthrow Think-Tank.
Think Tank was afraid excessively, he ordered his crew to return to Mars and
forget the idea of invading Earth. He also fled to Alpha Centauri, a star, hundred million miles away from Mars. The play concluded with the Historian informing that Noodle
became the Chief of Mars and he established cordial relations with the earth. The
people on earth helped Noodle build a library in Marsopolis. The curtain falls.
The play expounds the age old truth that education is the most powerful tool of civilisation, advancement and progress, but half knowledge and incomplete information is highly dangerous. We must take a comprehensive view of things before reaching the conclusion that's what Think Tank couldn't do. We should look into the details, and not come out with superficial conclusions or wild guesses as it may be hazardous.
The play teaches us
to be smart, informed and knowledge seeking person like Noodle, and not a proud,
vain, ill-mannered and authoritative boss like Think Tank.
Q1. How could a book save the earth from Martian
Ans. ‘Mother Goose’, the book of nursery rhymes
frightened the Martian invaders as Think Tank wrongly decoded the meaning of
its rhymes concluding that earthlings have already planned to invade Mars and
are far ahead in terms of scientific and technological advancements. They
transcribed from the rhymes that the people on earth had developed the
technology to grow shells and rare metals like silver and they had taught their
cows to go on moon and, thus cows could be sent on interplanetary invasion.
This wrong interpretation by Think Tank scared him so much that he called his
invasion fleet back and ran away from Mars to Alpha Cetauri. Eventually, the earth
evaded the invasion due to a book, ‘Mother Goose’.
Q2. How does Noodle very smartly put up his ideas before his boss without offending him or hurting his sentiments?
Ans. Noodle is very smart, clever and manipulative.
He knows how to put in his ideas or opinions without offending his boss, Think
Tank or without letting him know that his ideas are not so good. Noodle uses
the words like insignificant idea, trifling mind or cloudy piece of data for
his suggestions even when his ideas are brilliant as he doesn’t want to be
condescending towards his boss as well as retain his job with dignity.