Why would society make "being a pedestrian" a crime? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The idea of a pedestrian is deemed as a crime because it is something that the government cannot control.  A pedestrian is not at home, watching television, and submitting to the control of the state. They walk freely and perhaps engange in thoughts that are not controlled.  The same tendencies present in being a pedestrian is reflective in why the society makes book reading a crime.  The entire premise of seeking to eliminate books is because books help to trigger thought and reflective analysis.  In reading, individuals are able to formulate opinions and thoughts that cannot be controlled by an external reality.  Pedestrians are outside of the realm of control.  They walk freely and are not being controlled by the government and the social order.

In making pedestrians criminals, society has found another way to ensure its control over its individuals.  The society wants its citizens to be like Millie, emotionally tethered to the television in which there is complete focus or submission.  Making the pedestrian a crime ensures that individuals are not outside of control of the social order.  Criminalizing the status of being a pedestrian is another way in which individuals' attention are harnessed so that there is no creation of thought or even the possibility of reflection and understanding.  It is in this aspect in which the society makes being a pedestrian a crime.

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Fahrenheit 451

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