This study guide will help you analyze the text “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, themes and message.
Presentation of the text
Title: “The Pedestrian”
Author: Ray Bradbury
Date of Publication: 1951
Genre: Short Story
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American author of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery fiction. His most famous works are science fiction novels like Fahrenheit 451 or The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury is considered nowadays one of the pioneers of the fantasy and science fiction genres.
Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:
The social setting of “The Pedestrian ” by Ray Bradbury explores aspects related to living in a dystopia. A dystopia is a future society in which people go through suffering or injustice, typically as a result of a totalitarian regime or some kind of apocalypse.
The story presents a future in which people’s lives revolve around watching TV inside their homes. In this world nobody goes out anymore, preferring the comfort of their home-screens and air-conditioning. As a result, there are no crimes and no need for police forces on the street. Furthermore, police officers have been replaced with robotic cars.
Leonard Mead represents the outcast, since he is probably the only one who still goes out and does not have a TV, a wife, or an acceptable job. The fact that he is perceived as a threat by the police car and taken to a psychiatric institution indicates a totalitarian government, which does not accept people who are different. Mead’s situation explores the issue of living under an unjust system which arrests and confines people for being different.