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This type of story is intended as a warning. What it portrays has not happened yet, but it will happen if something isn't done about it. That is the message. The tone is the same as in novels like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, George Orwell's 1984, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and many others. The novels are classified as "dystopian." I don't know whether "The Pedestrian" was intended to be dystopian, but it was intended to be a warning against the dangers of television, which was a new medium in those days. A lot of people were afraid of it. It was hypnotic. But part of its influence was due to the fact that it was such a novelty. Imagine being able to watch movies, news, comedy shows, musicals, and sporting events right in your own living room! Now television has become a part of American life. It is not as good as some people had hoped it would be and not as bad as others like Ray Bradbury feared it would become. Actually, on the whole television has probably been a good thing. With cable and DVDs and streaming and everything else, it offers a vast variety of entertainment, information, and educational and cultural materials. It seems good for children because they learn about the world and they pick up vocabulary in their own language. It is very good for old people and sick people. Bradbury's story is more amusing than frightening now. There are a lot of other much worse things than television for us to be worried about.
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