The Pedestrian Symbolism
Ray Bradbury’s The Pedestrian is a very symbolic story of a man, Leonard Mead who doesn’t except the utopian society that’s supported. Leonard Mead walks outside every night to get fresh air and just enjoy a relaxing walk. He has done this for over ten years.
The government provides all of society with a viewing screen, which we call TVs. The people have lost their imagination and ability to think independently because all they do is sit and watch their viewing screens. The government was very pleased with the society because crime was very low.
In addition, Leonard does not have a viewing screen and choses not to live the way society wants him too. Leonard’s house is a symbol of enlightenment. His house is lit up with many luminous lights. His neighbor’s houses have a dull, dreary glow, emanating from the viewing screen. Leonard’s house is a symbol of knowledge and realization. His house being the only lit up in the society shows knowledge. Lights are bright, and bright has the meaning of being smart or knowledgeable.
Leonard is aware of the negative impact the utopian society has created by keeping everyone in his or her houses. With his knowledge he keeps thinking and using his imagination to not fall into society’s trap. If a person was to see his house with the lights on, it could strike them as odd and interest them. It may make them think and wonder using their brains unlike they have been. Eventually it may enlighten them to change how they live and be independent from the government. Next, Leonard’s house is a symbol of individuality.
Leonard unlike his neighbors uses his mind. Leonard’s writing and thinking is not what the society feels is normal. The citizens in the city are very boring they don’t think or have a imagination. The government is controlling all of the citizens. The people have no individuality or imagination in their thinking, acting and living. Therefore Leonard’s walking, writing, creativity, and thinking make him different or a individual in his society. Lastly, the society has no imagination at all. In other words, everyone is brain-dead from watching the viewing screens.
Leonard continues to read and write because he likes it and he disagrees to what society is teaching. He imagines and thinks. Society and the people just watch the viewing screens. Even if the show on the screen makes a joke they don’t laugh or have any emotion. There houses being dark just with the viewing screens on and there lack of emotion is like there dead. The society is a dead place with no fun or imagination. In The Pedestrian, Leonard Mead is a individual who does not follow what the government is teaching.
All of the people are dead minded and have no imagination because all they do is watch television. Leonard does not confirm to their way of life he reads and writes. His house lights are on because he is smart and has knowledge and imagination. The government-controlled people have their lights off not being enlightened by what you can find in life if you think. His house is a symbol of hope that one day the people will realize the negative consequences the government has caused by encouraging and providing the viewing screens.