In "The Pedestrian," what is Bradbury's message about people who do not watch tv?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The year is 2053 and like many Bradbury stories, it paints a bleak vision of the future. Leonard Mead is a writer who prefers walking to watching television. He admits (to the robotic policeman) that he does not even own a television. When he answers that his profession is "writer," the car records his answers as "no profession." Leonard admits there is some truth to this because he has not written anything in a few years. In this world, magazines and books do not sell anymore because everyone just watches television. Leonard is an anomaly. He gets more meaning and substance from walking the streets than he would from a mindless television show. 

Note how Bradbury describes the rest of the population. They mindlessly watch television every night. The are like zombies retreating to their "tombs" while Leonard is out walking around: 

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 gray or multicolored lights touching their faces, but never really touching them. 

Bradbury is clearly suggesting that Leonard is more thoughtful and intellectual with how he spends his time. The people that watch television are described as zombies. Every night, they imprison themselves in their homes to passively watch their shows. Leonard, who refuses to watch, stands out as a man who is still trying to actively experience things.