Why does the voice from the police car respond, “No profession,” in the story "The Pedestrian"?

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Ray Bradbury's short story is set in A.D. 2053, where the vast majority of citizens remain inside their homes during the evenings and watch television. The atmosphere of the city in the evening is dreary, cold, and desolate. The protagonist of the story, Leonard Mead, is an outcast in his superficial, mundane society. Leonard Mead is a writer and a pedestrian, who is creative, intuitive, and enjoys the outdoors. Despite the fact that Leonard Mead is completely harmless and is not engaged in any illegal activity, he is arrested by the automated police car for simply walking the streets by himself. When the automated police car asks Leonard his profession, Leonard tells the car that he is a writer. The car responds by saying, "No profession" (Bradbury, 1). In Bradbury's dystopian futuristic society, the citizens are solely focused on watching television and have no desire to read. Since the citizens do not read, writers have become virtually nonexistent. The fact that the police car does not consider being an author as a profession gives insight into the nature of the futuristic society. Apparently, books, novels, articles, and magazines are not valued or read. Leonard Mead is then arrested for not conforming to the superficial, ignorant society and taken to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.

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The voice from the police car says this because Leonard Mead has said that he is a writer.  The car says this as if it is talking to itself.

In my opinion, this is a commentary by Bradbury on what this society is like.  The society is totally rigid and structured.  People are not allowed to do anything that is not like what everyone else does.  That is why Leonard Mead has been stopped by the police -- he is out walking when no one else would be.

In such a society, a writer would not do well -- no one has any imagination.  So the police car does not even recognize the idea that someone might write as a profession.

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