Decay Of Humanity In The Pedestrian By Ray Bradbury

1386 words - 6 pages

Mankind has made great progression with inventions such as the television. However, as people dedicate less time to study or participate in sport, and dedicate more time to tune into their television, one might wonder if this is growth or decay. In "The Pedestrian", Ray Bradbury has decided to make a statement on the possible outcome of these advances. Through clever characterisation, themes and imagery, he shows that if society advances too greatly, then mankind may as well terminate itself. When walking one night, Mr Mead is abruptly stopped by a "metallic voice", for simply walking, but in this world of 2053 A.D, walking appears to be a felony. Mead is arrested and taken "To the Psychiatric Centre for Research on Regressive Tendencies".
The character of Mr Mead is represented by symbols of light, reflecting hope for humanity. Where as dark, coldness is present in the character of the police car. Mead is shaped for modern day society as we know it, individuality, independence and intellectuality fit right into the world of 2007. Where individual, differences are acceptable. Life has clearly deteriorated in the year 2053 A.D. Mead appears to be rebellious against this brand of society, a repressed Government. It seems Mead is involved in abnormal activity, but when one asks oneself, ?What is abnormal activity?? ?Simply walking? doesn?t come into mind- but in this world of 2053 A.D, walking at night has become- abnormal and unacceptable.
Mead in isolated surroundings voices his opinions aloud, maybe to release his aggravation or frustration. He calls to other citizens, cynically ?What?s up tonight on channel 4, channel 7??Where are the cowboys rushing? Mead expresses his frustration as if to mock the viewers. As he walks the isolated streets the description on ?Shadow of a hawk? is employed reflecting the personality of Mead, likening him to a free spirited bird of pray. Mead is perceptive and observant as writers tend to be.
However the police car, as well as Mead, is linked with light. The light of the car, this time exhibits the non existence of humanity and portrays fierce and fiery light.
Thought imagery, Bradbury advocates death, to stress what life may become in a world that has let progress drive humanity away. The city is interpreted as being similar to a desert (an area of land, usually in very hot climates, that consists only of sand, gravel, or rock with little or no vegetation, no permanent bodies of water, and erratic rainfall). Set in November where isolation is present and death is aspiring, due to a fast approaching winter. Metaphorically speaking people are described as ?phantoms?, barely visible. This is signified by their pale appearance due to the extended hours spent indoors. Sports participation and fresh air have become null and void due to such progression in technology, which has driven humanity away. Television addicts are desperate to return home from...

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