Student Question

What happens after the police stop Mead in "The Pedestrian"?

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One of the two robot police cars left in the city stops Leonard Mead walking the city streets because his behavior is suspicious. No one walks at night in this society because they are locked up in their homes watching hundreds of channels on television. Leonard Mead is different, however.  He use to be a writer, an occupation no longer needed in this society because no one reads when there is television to entertain them. Mead is from a different time when people socialized and enjoyed taking walks or sitting on their porches talking. As Mead takes his nightly walks, he notices that all the houses are dark and compares it to walking through a graveyard. He also notes that he has never met another person walking in all the years he has been doing it.

The police car stops Mead, and when Mead tells the police car during their questioning of him that he use to be a writer and he is unmarried (only married men would be walking at night to get away from their wives), it seems to be enough for the police to take him away to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies where he will be re-indoctrinated with the “normal” behavior of society. In the final scene, Mead says “good-bye” to his home, for he will never remember his former life once the “doctors” at the psychiatric center reprogram him.

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