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One of the key conflicts in "The Pedestrain" involved the contrasting value and...

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zofic13 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted September 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM via web

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One of the key conflicts in "The Pedestrain" involved the contrasting value and perspectives of Mr. Mead and the rest of society. Explain.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Bradbury is a master of creating terrifying dystopian worlds of the future where his characters often struggle to maintain some kind of semblance of humanity. In "The Pedestrian," we see Leanoard Mead in conflict with the society that he is part of. The most insightful description of this future society and the way that it has changed so dramatically comes at the beginning of Leonard Mead's interrogation, when he says he is a writer:

He handn't written for years. Magazines and books didn't sell anymore. Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy. The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the grey or multicoloured lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.

Note the way that society has regressed: the houses are "tombs" and are "ill-lit" with people sitting "like the dead" and not being impacted at all by the sights they see. Clearly, we can see from the story, that nobody leaves their homes at night to get fresh air, and if they do, as Mr. Mead finds out, they are accused of having "Regressive Tendencies." Mr. Mead stands in opposition to the values and culture of his society because of his background as a writer and above all, his refusal to follow the flow of the rest of humanity. This of course results in the story's rather terrifying ending.

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