Despite the biting cold, when the story opens Mead is walking along the crumbling sidewalk of a residential neighborhood. As he ambles along, he speaks to the houses on either side of him. “Hello...What’s up tonight on Channel 4, Channel 7, Channel 9? Where are the cowboys rushing, and do I see the United States Cavalry over the next hill to the rescue?” (1) He receives no response, nor does he expect one; the street is deserted, all the residents tucked safely inside their dark houses, their viewing screens casting flickering shadows across the walls for all to see. Behind the feigned humor, one can detect a note of distaste in his voice. Although Mead obviously h...
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...y, might turn on them to feel better about themselves, as if to reassure themselves that yes, they might be considered a dying breed, but at least they aren’t as irrelevant as the other guy. In addition, by villainizing Mead, the operator is able to carve out a niche for themselves, if only for a moment. By treating Mead as a criminal, the police are once more becoming relevant, and needed, the operator able to assuage their feelings of inadequacy.
“The Pedestrian” was meant to be a caution sign, a warning to come if the menace of television was not stopped once and for all. Instead of this, this story has provided a glimpse into the reactions of ordinary humans when they become or are made to feel inconsequential, and the way in which their fear unfolds. By writing this story, Bradbury provided not the intended mirror of society, but also a mirror of his own soul.
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