The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury
Length: 1782 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)
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This story is set in the future and relates to people acting in an
abnormal and obscured way. It challenges your mind to why these people
act and are so different during the night. When during the day it
seems so normal and a busy day. It is as though you can predict these
people's day-to-day routines. What seems to posse them to act so
different towards the night?
Leonard is walking in a deserted place. It is awfully quiet he can
only hear his own footsteps. It is a misty evening. There spears to be
no-one else waking during the night. He approaches to be very
different he doesn't conform. He makes out to be an outsider doesn't
necessarily fit in. Leonard feels lonely his not married and wants
company. He used to be a writer an imaginative man. So from here you
understand why he misses the company and feels lonely.
He seems to be wondering alone the empty streets, when everyone else
is so focused and tuned in to their viewing screens. Apparently he is
the only one that seems to be so distant from a viewing screen infact
he doesn't he even own one. This where you can see how he is different
to other people in the story.
As he is wondering the lonely empty night on his own. He is walking
and is surrounded by his own thoughts. A police car all of a sudden
approaches him. The police man questions him, because he is the only
person outside on his own. He is seen as an outsider and considered
mental from the stories point of view. He is then arrested and taken
to a psychiatric centre.
Leonard seems to be a different and odd character in this story. He is
firstly notified as the only person who walks every night on his own.
While everyone else in the city is watching their viewing screens. He
is at odds with the society he can't or doesn't fit in. Leonard is an
imaginative person he used to be a writer so he is open minded and
different. One thing, which made me see the dissimilarity between
Leonard and the other people, was when the policeman questioned him.
'And you have a viewing screen in you house to see with?'
This had attracted me to the fact that Leonard had no contrast with
the other people in the city he seemed to be living in a world of his
own. I can elaborate on the fact that he was living in the past
because from the story he was the only person whom owned a house with
their lights all brightly lit.
All of its electric lights brightly lit
While everyone else in the city of 3million people had their lights
off and the casting shadows of whatever they watched on the viewing
screens appearing on the walls. Leonard had all his lights on.
As Leonard is walking a leaf alarms him.
A normal person wouldn't be so disturbed or alarmed by a leaf.
But this leaf and the veins on it however fascinate Leonard, as he
believes it is the only thing living in dead city.
The city's atmosphere is almost a character in itself. It appears to
be very peculiar at night it seems so quiet, hushed and motionless.
There appears to be empty streets. But however during the day it seems
so normal and busy. Its like they are caught up in a trance, they
appear to be hypnotised during the night.
The city talks about people being and seen dead.
Tomb like houses
Where people sat like the dead
This states in the story that people are so attached and inclined to
this viewing screen that they are appearing to have no brain of their
own just repeating every day again and again. Appearing to act like
dead people in a dead city.
These people appear to have nothing affecting their thinking in a
Multi-colored lights touching their faces, but never really touching
They don't seem to have felt anything touching them or seeing them.
During the evening it seems to reduce it some trance state. You could
say in a hypnotised mood.
In a phantom state
Sudden Gray phantoms
Phantom means hypnotised during the whole day.
Everyone else in the houses seems to have these huge- viewing screens.
It's a big and wide screen. It appears to be in this city all they
really want to do is watch these screens during the evening, but
through the day it's busy just like a normal day.
Early in the story it points out that there is no crime in this city.
Police cars have decreased from 3 to 1. The people in this city of 3
million don't seem to be interested or disturbed by not committing
crime. All they appear or want to do is watch these viewing screens
they have become so attached, dependant and a obsession has occurred
and risen to watch these screens.
The language used to describe the city, the people and atmosphere is
The author describes the people in the city, as a graveyard a city of
the dead. Easily elaborating on the fact that people are dead there
doesn't seem to be a lively busy city as it is normally seen as.
The atmosphere appears to be very tense, he describes the city as a
He tries to express his views and thoughts to the fact that it's
really quiet and a deserted city. Dry in the sense that nothing seems
to grow anymore in the city.
He uses these words to describe
The highways are empty during the night. There doesn't seem to be even
a single car driving down. Or even a single person taking a stroll.
He expresses his thoughts on the houses like
He tries to say that these people have no voice or thoughts of there
own there completely quiet whilst there are other people living with
them during the night.
The streets appear to be empty have or no sound or motion.
The word empty is seen as a repetition the only way to emphasis on
this word is to say that the author is trying to get the description
and atmosphere of the city. As to say it has nothing living in there,
completely silent towards the night, it has no motion.
The author uses the word
This is used to describe people being hypnotised and having any
control over their life.
The last line of this story the author mentions the word chill.
This is not only seen as chill in the temperature but also in fear as
well. The question is never really answered referring back to the
start. Where I wrote what posses these people to act so different? You
can only have a few judgements of what is the answer due to the amount
of evidence given.
THE PRIZE OF PERIL
This story is set in the future and relates to a thrill show. The
hired killers pursue the contestant. The contestants mission is to
survive a week and receive a phenomenal amount of money two hundred
thousand dollars. While being pursued by hired killers, the killers
are armed the contestant is left defenceless. As the hired killers are
hired they are granted immunity for life. So this gives them a great
opportunity to do anything knowing they will be considerably
Jim the character and contestant of the story has survived the week
but has little as four and a half hours to go. He is running around
searching for some place to protect himself. He has been shot. As
being broad minded as anyone else he heads to the church for
sanctuary. But there doesn't seem to have the effect he has hoping
for, no mercy was being shown. So he runs out and heads for the back
Whilst he is running and panting to catch up with his breath he falls
straight in to the open grave almost a symbolic response.
Jim is an average ordinary man the audience are overall capable to be
able to identify with him. When they look at him they see a similar
attraction with him and can easily say he is one of them. The audience
automatically put themselves in his position and accept him as an
ordinary guy. Jim had been seen, as he was too modest to have dreams.
It seems as though he is being given a test even before the show has
Mike Terry the host of The prize Of The Peril makes a lot of money by
hosting this show. The only reason he wants to take part or conclude
in this show or want anything to do with people like that is merely
because he makes a lot of money from it. The other important factor is
the audience. They begin of course by supporting Jim, they feel as
though he is one of them. (Corresponding of people).
But as the show continues the audience change sides. They begin to
side with the killers. Their judgement of Jim being a good a person
and feeling as though he is one them unfortunately changes. The
audience's choice and view changes rapidly as the show becomes more
tense and vital. The reason for this rapid change is mainly because
the audience realise if Jim does win he will be very rich earning
So the audience become jealous, they tend to realise he cant become
rich, as he is one of them. They begin to face the fact why should he
leave rich and they leave with nothing when he is one of them. But
gradually as the show goes on they emphasis on their judgement and
change sides. It goes from being a good audience to a bloodthirsty and
violence audience. They all of a sudden want to see violence, action
they become bloody thirsty. The quality of jealousy makes them change
sides and build up hatred for Jim.
Mike Terry's is the host for this show his commentary seems to be as
though he is commentating for a sport event. The only reason he takes
part or conclude or want anything to do with people like this is
because he earns a wage from it. He makes alot money by presenting
I notice his commentating technique is recognised as a sporting event
by the way he speaks.
" What a finish"
This line makes it seem as though he is taking this show as a sport
Is Mike Terry seen as a hypocrite? Well we have to admit he makes a
lot of money out of presenting this show. He condemns but makes money.
I think who would be hold as responsible for this tragedy of a show
would have to be the audience.
It is the audience who became bloody thirsty and change sides. It is
them who became jealous and tell the hired killers where Jim is
hiding. If it weren't for the audience to have such audacity, to have
such a bloody thirsty mind to even consider having a show like this to
be broadcasted then it wouldn't be broadcasted. Then this show
wouldn't be held and people wouldn't die, and there would no need to
see live killing. So I think in my personal point of view after
reading this story I would say it is the audience who are held
responsible for the killing.
After reading these two stories I noticed that they had a few
similarities. Both stories are set in the future and you can emphasis
on this when you see the difference in the way life is seen and
structured out. For example in The Pedestrian story, life isn't laid
out as it is today. It doesn't have the busy nightlife, or certain
people putting them in a trance. It does consist of people working
normally during the day but then acting odd. As though TV is the only
connection with the outside world that keeps them entertained during
You can see the similar similarity in the prize of the Peril. This can
be identified and noticed by a number of odd and peculiar life
entertainment events. Today taking life of others is seen as breaking
the law and committing a murder. But referring back to question which
was how can I prove it is set in the future? By reading certain events
of this story from different aspects. It came to my knowledgement that
committing crime in this story is seen as life entertainment and
certain people earn a lot of money from it. Also some are granted
immunity. It is seen as a happy occasion, people are becoming
bloodthirsty. They would do anything to see violence, murder and
The stories both deal with life entertainment, they both see life as a
large viewing screen. In the Pedestrian people are seen as though they
have been hypnotised and are completely focused on the large viewing
screen. They don't seem to have any interest in anything else in life,
apart from watching the screens all night. It's quite strange to
notice that household members have one and every household member is
addicted and attracted to them. In the prize of the peril it is
different. But it still contrasts with life entertainment. In the
pedestrian it is seen as life entertainment by watching these huge
viewing screens. Whereas in The prize of the peril it refers to real
murder, live murder.
People seem to be interested in seeing people killed for real, it is
seems as though they enjoy the reality of this thrill show. They want
to see more, they have become addicted to seeing people killed, they
see it as harmless entertainment.
It doesn't appear to be a hopeful view on human nature. They want to
see people dead/killed. The more you feed their imagination the more
they actually want.
After concluding both stories, I realised the similarities. They were
both cut down to two main aspects of life. They were both seeing and
believing life entertainment was all that life surrounds and what life
is about. Also that life is being structured and set out in a very
different way. They both deal with television and getting
entertainment in a passive way. These pessimistic stories don't hold