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The Pedestrian

Such as when Leonard Mead said he couldn’t ull himself away from the light. We see this happen in everyday life. We know something might lead to danger, yet we are still drawn to it out of curiosity and human nature. “The cone of light” described in the story as a flashlight reminds us of a light at the end of the tunnel that some people believe to see before death. It’s as if Leonard Mead is drawn to it knowing that it could lead to something very horrible if he chooses to follow it, but yet he follows it still, as if he is a mosquito enchanted by a citronella candle.

Inches away from his entrapment but just annot pull himself away. When Leonard Mead is interrogated by the police officer it describes his experience as a “museum specimen, needle thrust through chest”. It seems as though Leonard Mead feels as if the police officer is trying to somewhat “kill” him; make him like all the others. Questioning his love for life and the great outdoors. Forcing him to conform to the rest of the population. The TV’s role in “The Pedestrian” is some sort of murderous monster. It traps people inside their homes turning them into zombies.

They soon begin to reathe, eat, and sleep television. They no longer have a need for anything else in their life. So in a way, the people are somewhat victims, but aren’t they victimizing themselves? It seems as though the evolution of technology is not always for our own good. When we have created more than enough gadgets we can come up with to last an entire century, why do we keep developing more? Is there really a need to go that far? At some point or another, technology is going to catch up with us, and in the long run, become more advance than us. It begins to take over our lives.

We become lazy and brainwashed. We no longer care about the things that used to matter such as enjoying the outdoors and spending real quality time with the family. And with all respect, TV is NOT quality time. Technology is not human. It should not replace humans. It can’t be a friend to you, or a teacher, or a parent. It is not alive! But yet in “The Pedestrian” people are treating it as if it was a human. If we lived in a world of only technology and eliminated all of Mother Nature, we would be eliminating ourselves as well, ventually leading to our extinction.

We are killing ourselves very slowly if we choose to spend every hour of the day in front of a television screen. Ever visited a retirement home? The elderly spend most of their time lying in bed watching TV. Is that “death-like” enough for you? Television sadly, is the only thing these people have left. It is what keeps them company. It is a false hope. It leaves them only in anticipation of seeing the evening news every night, and making sure they don’t miss a single episode of Bill Cosby. It is terrible to think that is the only hing keeping these people alive.

It is sad that these people will have to spend the last few hours of their life in front of a television screen instead of with the ones they love, or doing something they enjoyed as a child. Another point I would like to make is we usually associate death with the elderly and associate life and innocence with children. This I find rather ironic because young children and infants, don’t have the need for TV. Sure, they will watch it if you turn it on and set them in front of it, but they don’t choose to.

Children would rather play outdoors in the sand and trees, not spend all their time in front of a television screen. This comes to my conclusion that Ray Bradbury somewhat incorporated death into his short story “The Pedestrian” whether he meant to or not. What I do know for a fact is, that if we keep continuing to let technology rule our lives, we aren’t going to have any lives left. There has to be a bigger purpose to life then being born to wake up every morning just to turn the television on, and dying knowing we didn’t miss a single rerun.

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