Literary analysis of The Martian (2011) by Andy Weir

Main Character

The main character of The Martian is Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer who gets stranded on Mars. The mission he was part of was forced to evacuate due to an intense storm, but Watney was hit by loose debris, lost in the storm and presumed dead as the rest of the crew heads back to Earth.

One of the best indicators of Mark Watney’s personality is the very first lines of the novel:


I’m pretty much fucked.

That is my considered opinion.

Fucked.” (p. 1)

This immediately establishes the overall tone of the novel, which is mostly told through written logs as Watney documents his life. Through the course of the novel, we learn that Watney often uses dark humor to cope with his situation. He also has no respect for what he considers pointless bureaucracy; he feels that the people at NASA are breathing down his neck when he knows full well what to do, as can be seen in this quote:  

“My conversation with NASA about the ...