The Pedestrian Essay

Readers Response- “The Pedestrian” – Ray Bradbury Lines 11-12- “And on his way he would see cottages and homes with their dark windows, and it was not unequal to walking through a graveyard…” This quote from the poem helps to set the mood of the rest of the story. The story opens up with the writer telling about the main character Leonard Mead getting ready to take a walk in the city around eight p. m.

He goes on to talk about how the character enjoys taking these walks and didn’t know which way to go, but it didn’t matter because not only was he alone outside he was also alone in the world. Then the quote comes in and talks about what the author sees while he takes his routine nightly walks through the city. The main character relates walking by the people’s homes is equivalent to that of walking past a graveyard. Everyone is watching television in their homes and the light from the televisions light their homes, which give the homes a dark, dead lighting.

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In the end when they describe Mead’s home it is well lit and, “every window a loud yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool darkness,” which is the opposite of every other house in the neighborhood. The author uses the theme of death to not only set the mood of the story but to also give the reader his opinion of conforming to society. The people in the houses are seen as dead, which he thinks is the same as conforming to society because it tells you too. Every time the main character describes the people in the homes he passes he uses words that relate to death such as “tomb” or “dark. Leonard Mead can be depicted as living life or humanity in a sense and the people in the house or the television are conformity. The television tells the people what to think and how to act; they give the people their identity in society. Walking is a good way to think and as mead walks he begins to think and his ideas and morals stray away from what the “television” told them to think. He stops watching TV all together and he illuminates his house with real light rather than the light from the television.

Though he is alone outside and alone in the world he seems at peace with himself and seems to have a deeper understanding of what’s going on around him. The author in this poem wrote this book based on the same ideals he believed in for Fahrenheit 451. I haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 yet but from the summary plot and what I’ve heard it relates to this poem. I can’t wait to read the book because this poem is really intriguing and I’m sure a story based on the same theme will be just as intriguing.


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