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Examples of figurative language in "The Pedestrian."


Examples of figurative language in "The Pedestrian" include similes, such as comparing the empty streets to a "graveyard," and metaphors, like describing the houses as "tombs." Bradbury also uses imagery to evoke a sense of isolation and desolation, portraying the city as lifeless and mechanical, enhancing the story's dystopian atmosphere.

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What types of figurative language are used in "The Pedestrian"?

Ray Bradbury uses several types of figurative language, often to create strong visual images but also employing other senses. Metaphor is prominent among these, and he often uses extended metaphors. He also employs similes, sometimes in the same sentence. Dialogue combined with irony dominate the latter part of the story.

Describing the walks that Leonard Mead takes, the narrator compares the neighborhoods he traverses to a graveyard, saying that his trip “was not unequal to walking through a graveyard” and that “gray phantoms seemed to manifest” themselves on the homes’ interior walls.” This metaphor is combined with a simile, as the narrator calls the buildings “tomb-like.”

The narrator also refers metaphorically to the actions of the cold winter air, saying that the frost “cut the lungs” and “made them blaze”; using cold and fire together is also an oxymoron.

Describing the urban landscape, the narrator uses several more metaphors. The busy daytime traffic makes the city into “an insect,” and from the cars’ exhaust comes “incense.” For the night-time atmosphere, a simile is applied, saying the highways are “like streams in a dry season.” This analogy recurs in the story’s last paragraph, which also features repetition.

When the police officer stops Mead, a simile compares the walker to “a night moth” and extends the insect comparison, saying the light “fixed [him], like a museum specimen, needle thrust through chest.”

The first part of the story is told by the third-person narrator, with occasional interruptions of Mead’s thoughts. Once the police officer enters the story, Bradbury uses dialogue to present their conversation. The extensive use of dialogue is soon shown to be ironic, for the “man” with whom Mead is conversing is actually a machine: the police car is empty, the “police voice” is that of a computer.

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What types of figurative language are used in "The Pedestrian"?

Bradbury uses several similes, a comparison that uses "like" or "as," in "The Pedestrian." For example, he writes that Mead was "sending patterns of frosty air before him like the smoke of a cigar." In this simile, Mead's breath is compared to the exhalation of smoke. Later, Bradbury writes, "only his shadow [was] moving like the shadow of a hawk in midcountry." In this striking simile, Mead's shadow is compared to that of a hawk on the ground. The author also uses metaphors, comparisons that do not use "like" or "as" and usually compare two unlike things. For example, he writes of Mead making his way through the empty streets that it "was not unequal to walking through a graveyard where only the faintest glimmers of firefly light appeared in flickers behind the windows." In this metaphor, walking through the deserted town is compared to walking through a graveyard in which only small lights made by bugs are visible.

The author also uses imagery or details that appeal to the senses. For example, he writes of the "rusty smell" of the leaves, an example of imagery that appeals to the reader's sense of smell. Finally, the author uses personification or making inanimate objects animate. For example, he writes that the police car has "its radio throat faintly humming." The author's use of personification is particularly effective in the world of this story, in which only machines, not humans, are apparently in control.

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What types of figurative language are used in "The Pedestrian"?

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradury contains a number of examples of figurative language such as simile, imagery, and personification.

Early in the short story as the main character, Leonard Mead, walks the streets of his town early in evening in the year A.D. 2053, Bradbury, metaphorically compares the homes along a street with a graveyard.

And on his way he would see the cottages and homes with their dark windows and it was not unequal to walking through a graveyard where only the faintest glimmers of firefly light appeared in flickers behind the window.

The author is saying as Mead walked the desolate street, he could see the people moving in the houses with the lights in the background. He also uses figurative language when he speaks of the people as “sudden gray phantoms” that he saw in the windows of homes which he describes as being tombstone like buildings; a simile.

As Leonard Mead, continues his walk in the cool, crisp air the author uses another simile.

 There was a good crystal frost in the air it cut the nose and made the lungs blaze like a Christmas tree inside; you could feel the cold light going off and on.

The author uses the simile instead of simply saying the air was cold and it hurt when Mead breathed while he walked. With each breathe he could feel the air cutting into his lungs.

Bradbury uses more simple similes such as “his shadow moving like the shadow of a hawk in the mid-country.” This gives you the picture of Mead, a solitary figure, moving smoothly, down the desolate street. The author uses a simile with the word “unlike” instead of like. “He stood entranced, not unlike a night moth, stunned by the illumination, and then drawn toward it.” The author chose to make a negative comparison.

Imagery is used throughout the short story. The author describes a “metallic voice,” “the smell of riveted steel,” and the car giving “a faint whirring click.” You can hear the squeaky voice, smell the steal, and hear the car as it started with a quiet sound.

Personification is used when the author has Mead talking to the houses. “What is it now? he asked the houses.”

This short story has many more examples of figurative language with the author’s use of similes throughout.

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What is a metaphor in "The Pedestrian"?

One extended metaphor in "The Pedestrian" is the comparison of the city and its people to death. For example, while walking, Leonard Mead sees "gray phantoms" in rooms in houses where the curtains have not been drawn. These are not real phantoms, but the people who live in the houses never come out to take a walk. The buildings themselves are called "tomblike," the street Mead walks on silent and empty like a graveyard. When confronted by the police, Mead says he has never met anyone else on his walks, as if he is living in a ghost town.

Mead is treated by the police as the ghostly, unreal figure and taken away to an insane asylum, but in fact it is the other people in the town who behave as if they are dead, spending their time entombed in their houses.

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