How is Mr. Mead's house different from the other houses in the city in "The Pedestrian"?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Ray Bradbury's "The Pedestrian," Mr. Mead's house differs from the other houses in the city because it is well illuminated, there is no television set in it, and it is unoccupied.

Leaving the lights on in his home during the evening, Mr. Mead walks the empty sidewalks of his town for hours, not returning to his own house until midnight. While he is outside walking, he passes houses in which 

only the faintest glimmers of firefly light appeared in flickers behind the windows.

These flickers of light come from television sets before which the occupants of the houses sit in the dark in order to better view what is on the small and dim screens. (In its early days, television was broadcast in only black and white and light was minimal in the first sets.) 

For ten years, Mr. Mead has walked "for air and to see," covering thousands of miles. Yet in all this distance and time, he has never met one person outside who is also walking on the sidewalks that now are vanishing under flowers and grass. In fact, in the year 2052, Mr. Mead's walking is not normal, and he is stopped by a mechanized patrol car that forces him to get into the vehicle. He will be taken to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.

sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say Mr. Mead's house is different from all the other houses in the city in two specific ways.  

The first way that Mr. Mead's house is different is that it is brightly lit. All the lights are on. At the very end of the story, Mr. Mead is arrested and driven past his house. We are told all the houses were dark except one, which has all its lights on. Mr. Mead tells the police car that the house is his.  

They passed one house on one street a moment later, one house in an entire city of houses that were dark, but this one particular house had all of its electric lights brightly lit, every window a loud yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool darkness.

The other way Mr. Mead's house is different is that it does not have a television, or "viewing screen," inside. All the other houses have that particular entertainment device, and that is why all the homes are darkened. People are watching television in the dark. Mr. Mead doesn't have a TV. He prefers to walk around the neighborhood by himself. That activity is considered so odd that the police arrest him and plan to take Mr. Mead to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.