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What is the theme of "The Pedestrian?"

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liz2004 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:03 AM via web

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What is the theme of "The Pedestrian?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM (Answer #1)

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To me, the theme of this story is that TV (and I think technology in general) can destroy a society.  I think that this is a fairly typical Bradbury theme and can also be seen in stories like "The Veldt."

In this society, human relations no longer exist and neither does freedom.  Everyone always just stays home watching TV.  Leonard Mead, for example, does not have the freedom to go out and do what he wants to do.  He gets picked up by the police because he is not doing what is expected.

This shows that individuality has been pretty much destroyed by the prevalence of TV in this society.

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theazael666 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 22, 2010 at 3:28 AM (Answer #2)

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I would say the theme is how Bradbury explores the possible consequences of a society dependant on technology. This technocratic form of society as he views it, would ultimately become repressed and those who refuse to allow technology to take the place of individualism would ultimately face isolation......
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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM (Answer #3)

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Ray Bradbury was clearly prescient about some of the looming problems of the future. His theme in "The Pedestrian" is that a society in which technology dominates lives leads to conformity, lack of imagination, and individualism. The lone individual, the writer who no longer has an audience, walks the streets alone, isolated from the homes that are dark inside except from the single light of televisions, "a loud yellow [the color of evil]illumination," which mesmerize the viewers into complacent, unthinking lives. Leonard Mead sneaks down sidewalks overgrown with weeds because of disuse, peaking around corners for the inanimate police car that picks up vagrants, asking no one "Are you there?" longing for human communication, the food of the heart of man. 

Instead, he is halted just as he approaches his own house, told to raise his hands as though he is in the act of a crime. When Mead must admit that he has not written anything in some time (since no one reads), he is ordered into the car and the vehicle heads "To the Psychiatric for Research for Regressive Tendencies." 

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