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The Pedestrian Essay Symbolism Examples

Since the bend of the century, new engineering has easy begun to make an anti-social and impersonal society. Take, for case, the promotion of the amusement industry; people’s thought of a societal dark out is “going to the movies”, where there is really limited societal interaction. With the promotions of kitchen contraptions, clip is seldom exhausted with 1s household in the kitchen whether it is to cook, wash dishes, or merely socialise. Since online confab suites and electronic mail, the usage of the telephone has become about disused, and people seldom fitting face-to-face. When one thinks of how impersonal western civilisation is today, seek to conceive of life 50 years from now. The short narrative “The Pedestrian”, written by Ray Bradbury, is set 50 years from today. In this essay sample you’ll discover that the “The Pedestrian” impersonality is shown to be the consequence of promotions in engineering through the symbolic usage if the empty constabulary auto, the empty streets and the uninterrupted screening of telecasting.

Ray Bradbury expresses the negative impact of engineering in “The Pedestrian” through the usage of the empty constabulary auto. Leonard Mead is on his every night walk and is approached by an empty constabulary auto, he is questioned about his walking and if he has ground to make it. After he tries to explicate his concluding for walking the constabulary auto orders him to acquire in, and informs him that he is traveling to be taken to a psychiatric ward.

“He put his manus to the door and peered into the back place. which was a small cell, a small black gaol with bars. It smelled It smelled of riveted steel. It smelled of rough antiseptic; it smelled excessively clean and difficult and metallic. There was nil soft in at that place. ” ( p157 )

In this transition, Ray Bradbury uses many symbols to stand for impersonality. The “little black gaol with bars” shows hat the constabulary auto is a gaol cell on wheels. The fact that it is black shows that a condemnable or possible felon is non given any opportunity for imaginativeness or creativeness, no coloring material represents no exhilaration or felicity. The symbol of the auto being empty with no constabulary officer represents no opportunity for alibi or penitence. This symbol of no clemency shows that engineering is in control of the worlds in a universe designed and build by worlds. Leonard Mead is out for a walk. where is the offense in that? And yet the constabulary auto insists he travel to the psychiatric ward for oppugning, without giving Leonard a opportunity to explicate. A universe designed by worlds should be controlled by them, when engineering takes over, a job has arrived.

The consequence of promotions in engineering is besides shown in “The Pedestrian” through the empty streets. During Leonard Mead’s eventide walk. he reflects on why people stay at place and what they do. On Leonard’s walk he notes that “The street was soundless and long and empty, with merely his shadow traveling like the shadow of a hawk in mid-country. If he closed his eyes and stood really still. frozen. he could conceive of himself upon the Centre of a field, a wintry, windless American desert with no house in a 1000 stat mis, and merely the dry river bottom. the streets, for company”. (p154)

This transition is really symbolic and uses multiple things to portray the emptiness and solitariness of the streets. Leonard’s shadow is describes as like a hawk. this description shows that he must travel without being noticed by the constabulary or anyone in their places as non to upset them; it besides means that his shadow is the lone thing maintaining him company. When he closes his eyes the metropolis is described as a wintry field, a desert, and the streets as dry river bottom. This symbolic representation shows how alone and empty the streets fell to him, with everyone tucked in their houses in forepart of their TV’s, This citation is really symbolic and helps one realize the emptiness and solitariness of a metropolis under the control of engineering.

The uninterrupted screening of telecasting in the short narrative “The Pedestrian” is shown to be a negative impact of promotions in engineering. After the constabulary auto insists that Leonard’s occupation has become disused, Leonard realizes that.

“Magazines and books didn’t sell any more. Everything went on in the tomblike houses at dark now, he thought, go oning his illusion. The grave, ill-lit by telecasting visible radiation. where the people sat like the dead. the Grey or multicoloured visible radiations touching their faces. but ne’er truly touching them. ” ( p156 )

One can state the amusement industry has been taken over by Television when non even books or magazines sell. In this extract. peoples places are describes as grave. which revolve around the telecasting. The Television was the chief. if non merely. beginning of light and people stayed glued to it for hours. The transition besides says that the light touches their faces. but that isn’t plenty. One needs physical interaction to maintain a healthy degree of saneness. And the citation refers to the people as “like the dead” . no longer in control of their ain lives but alternatively addicted to the Television. ne’er desiring to go forth its presence in fright of the fact that they might lose something. The fact that one can non go forth the presence of the Television shows how engineering has taken control and made life wholly impersonal.

All of the symbols used come together to demo that in merely 50 old ages clip. how impersonal life could potentially go. The promotions in engineering are easy working together and making an impersonal ambiance. While today. books still sell. and magazines are still read. family contraptions are doing things so convenient one seldom finds the demand to go forth the comfort of their ain place. In “The Pedestrian” the symbolic usage of the empty constabulary auto. the empty streets and the uninterrupted screening of telecasting all combine to demo that the impersonality of life is caused by the promotions in engineering.

Mankind has made great leaps toward progress with inventions like the television. However, as children give up reading and playing outdoors to plug into the television set, one might wonder whether it is progress or regression. In "The Pedestrian," Ray Bradbury has chosen to make a statement on the effects of these improvements. Through characterization and imagery, he shows that if mankind advances to the point where society loses its humanity, then mankind may as well cease to exist.

Bradbury has elected to reflect the humanity of mankind in the character of Mr. Mead. First of all, Mr. Mead is associated with warm, bright light, which is symbolic of soul. If, during his night walks, people are alerted to his presence, "lights ... click on" (104). In essence, the embodiment of humanity is about. Mr. Mead's house beams "loud yellow illumination" (105). Since literature not only records the history of mankind but also evokes deep feeling among men, it brings this occupation close to the heart of humanity. Third, Mr. Mead is close to nature. Something as simple as taking a walk is "what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do" (104). Man is most human when surrounded by the elements. Also, Mr. Mead's shadow is described as the "shadow of a hawk," relating him to a wild and free-spirited bird (104). Last, Mr. Mead is brought into a parallel with the most tender and human holiday observed in the western world when the rush of cold air makes his lungs "blaze like a Christmas tree" (104). The combination of these elements makes Mr. Mead a true representative of humanity.

As a contrast to the humanity portrayed by Mr. Mead, Bradbury has mirrored the characteristics of progress in the police car. The car, as well as Mr. Mead, is associated with light. The light of the car, however, displays the absence of humanity. Rather than the "warm" light of Mr. Mead, the car possesses a "fierce" and "fiery" light that holds humanity "fixed" like a "museum specimen"--something from the past that should be looked at behind an impersonal plate of glass (105-06). When not holding humanity captive, the car's lights revert to "flashing ... dim lights," showing the absence of any real soul (106). The car is representative of several modern inventions, thereby embodying mankind's advancement. It is itself a robot, and it speaks in a "phonograph voice" through a "radio throat" (105-06). Finally, the omission of a human driver emphasizes cold, "metallic" progress (105-06). There is "nothing soft" about the car; all traces of humanity have been cleaned from its "riveted steel" with a "[h]arsh antiseptic" (106). Altogether, these features function to create a picture of unfeeling progress.

The disdain that progress shows for humanity, which results in mankind's loss of soul, is shown through the interaction of Mr. Mead and the police car. The car does not comprehend the need for humanity. It does not understand Mr. Mead's desire to get back to nature--to walk just "to see" (105). It cannot fathom why Mr. Mead has no inclination either to sit in front of a "viewing screen" or to breathe air from an "air conditioner" (105). When the car assigns Mr. Mead "[n]o profession," it is denying the existence of humanity (105). Progress sees no need for humanity; therefore, the car makes no real effort to relate to Mr. Mead. It just locks him away in the "black jail" of its back seat and takes him away (106). Bradbury poignantly has progress drive away the remnants of humanity.

Bradbury stresses death in his imagery to emphasize what life would be like in a world that has let progress drive humanity away. He sets the story in November, near the onset of winter, signifying the coming of death. The dead leaves scattered on the ground are etched with a "skeletal pattern" (104). When Mr. Mead chooses to walk in a "westerly direction," the direction in which the sun sets, it also signifies the coming of death (104). The streets are described as "dry river beds"; there is no life in them (104). People sit "dead" in their "tomblike" homes; walking through the neighborhood is similar to walking through a "graveyard" (104-05). Bradbury's world without humanity has virtually ceased to exist.

Through the characterization and imagery of "The Pedestrian," Bradbury has given a warning of what life might lie ahead if mankind relinquishes its humanity to progress. It would be a great loss to watch children grow into hard, cold "police cars" rather than warm, human "Mr. Meads."

Bradbury, Ray. "The Pedestrian." Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, et al. 2nd ed. New York: MacMillan, 1989. 104-06.

--Susan McGallicher

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