Marionettes Inc Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Marionettes, Inc.' is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury about the implications of using technology to replace human beings. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this story.

Marionettes, Inc.

If you had the opportunity to gain some free time by purchasing a robotic version of yourself to take on some of your responsibilities, would you? Ray Bradbury's short story 'Marionettes, Inc.' reviews the positives and negatives of allowing technology to infiltrate our lives. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this story.


The questions in this section will help students gain a better understanding of the characters and the challenges each of them face in their marriages.

  • Why did the Bralings get married? What character traits would you use to describe Mrs. Braling? What are the elements of a happy marriage? How does Mrs. Braling's manipulation affect their ability to build a happy marriage? What should Braling do differently?
  • What is the author's tone about marriage. Compare Smith's marriage to Braling's marriage. Do you think they are equally justified in their complaints? Explain your answer. What do you think is the best solution to each of their problems?
  • Braling claims that putting sleeping powder in his wife's coffee would be unethical. What do you think of Braling's ethical standards? Explain your answer. When faced with an ethical dilemma, how do you make decisions?
  • What do Smith's questions about Braling Two reveal about his intentions? In what ways would Smith benefit from having his own humanoid? How would you use a humanoid?


This section contains questions that will lead students to consider the implications of this type of technology.

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