A man often looks at the star Polaris in the night. He has a dream of a strange and alien city, built of marble. At first, he listens in on conversations and observes the life of people in this strange, and far away city. They speak of many things. While our narrator does observe these people, he does not exist as an actual corporeal being. He is merely an entity that peaks into the lives of the beings that live there. One day, he tires of simply existing without a body and somehow he becomes real in this other place.
He starts to take part in the society of this other town. He talks of intellect endeavors and current events in this place. The current events happen to involve a war with strange beings, but the narrator is not allowed to fight in the war. Instead, he goes to sleep and awakes again in his own home, back on Earth.
Here’s an interesting thing–Polaris, or the pole star, or the North Star, which is part of Ursa Minor, the little dipper, is actually not one star. It’s three stars. It’s known as a multiple star. There is one large star, Polaris A, around which Polaris Ab, and Polaris B orbit. Nifty, huh?
Obviously, it’s not a place you can go. I’m sure there are other planets out in the universe that some type of being/creature/life form inhabits, but we can’t get to any of them, neither can the guy in this story.
I read up a little on this story before writing my review. Some people say that H.P. probably wrote this story to be a little autobiographical to an extent because he didn’t consider himself very helpful during WWI, and neither was the man in this story.
Why not fight for your own land though? The character in this story had a homeland, but somehow he traveled light years away to some other planet and wanted to fight a war for them. Why is it better to fight for a land that is not your own? I mean, some people don’t feel that way, but others, are happy to go and fight with people who are not their native compatriots. Certainly we hear of people leaving the United States, or whatever country, and going off to join factions and fight for other countries, perhaps against American ideals, or whatever ideals their country espouses, but maybe it’s just to be contrary. It could also be that one’s native land has become so abhorrent to the way of thinking of an individual that said individual would rather fight for another country in a war, any war.
In this story, maybe it’s just because the narrator thought that someone else might let him fight where his own land would not.
This was a weird story.
If your own country would not let you fight a battle, would you fight for another country?
Why do you imagine that some people leave their homeland and go fight for other countries?