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Essay: The Pedestrian' (1951) By Ray Bradbury

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: 31 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 655 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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The setting of The Pedestrian is on the streets, during one evening in November. The futuristic environment of 2053 is one in which technology has created realities in which people no longer interact with the outside world as freely as they used to do. The pedestrian walks as freely as he does because the world around him has become inwardly drawn. The setting that Bradbury constructs is one in which people remain inside, watching televisions and using technology to avoid interacting with the outside world. This lack of external contact is what makes the pedestrian so different and the source of police interest. The pedestrian, who says, “Hello, in there” to the homes in which people are avidly watching television, walks alone in this world.
The setting is one in which the pedestrian’s actions arouses police interest because he is breaking the norm, acting in an unconventional and thus, not controlled manner. The setting that is “empty, silent, and motionless” is reflective of a condition in which freedom is discouraged. It is one in which the pedestrian is a threat. This is where the setting assists in the development of the story’s themes.
Leonard Mead is the main character of ” The Pedestrian ”. In this story, Mr. Mead is arrested for and apprehended for regressive behavior because he was going for his traditional walk during the night. Mead is described as someone that has some sort of external conflict about this futuristic society. In other word to describe, Mr. Mead is old-fashioned. He does not have a TV and still takes a walk, which is not normal in this futuristic time setting. ” And you have a viewing screen (TV) in your house to see with”?Police car ” No ”Mr. Leonard Mead. He is very different from everyone else in the story’s society. Everyone else in society relies on technology for entertainment, but instead Mr. Mead finds his entertainment walking and his behavior is considered as regressive because he has reverted to the activities from the past, since no one has walked for years other than himself. He has never seen anyone or any other person walking like him even with during his many hours of walking. He also lives alone he doesn’t have a wife and also no children. Mr. Mead is also a former writer who is still interested in magazines and books even though in the story it says that magazines and books doesn’t sell due to the dominance of the TV. Apart from that, Mr. Mead imagines that he is crossing a desert because he is alone. He carefully walks in silence to avoid making noise, because dogs will disturb his journey by barking and lights might turn on and faces will appear.
The Pedestrian is a short horror science fiction story. The reader’s imagination plays a huge role in this story, according to the settings Mr. Mead lives in a very dark society and living with brainwashed people. The story also has few similes that tells us how it relates to death recurring constantly, ” through a graveyard ” and ” a tomb-like building ”, it tells how the people in this society is living, they sat like the dead and giving the impression of ruined, collapsing and damaged society that has taken over the old bright society that America had once.
The theme in this story is very important. You can find and explain so many different themes in this story, but the theme I personally think which is the most important is that we need to be more careful with the technology. Mr. Bradbury implicitly tells a message that technology is made to make our lives easier, but it actually also threatens our humanity. Technology appliances like TV, which separates human instead of bringing them together. It also seems like marriage in this story only exists for preservation of the human race. This story is a warning to everyone.

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