28 pages 56 minutes read

Ray Bradbury

The Pedestrian: A Fantasy in One Act

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1951

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Important Quotes

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“To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o’clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do.”

(Page 18)

This quote includes poetic voice, repetition of words and syntax, sensory detail, and metaphor. It contributes to the poetic tone of the story and explains the protagonist’s feelings about his walks.

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“‘Hello, in there,’ he whispered to every house on every side as he moved. “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?’”

(Page 19)

This quote explains the repetitive, stock nature of the television programs that entrance most people in Mead’s society. At the same time, the fact that the protagonist whispers to the houses helps develop his character as a thoughtful, sensitive, and curious person. He chooses observation over overt criticism. He may not agree with his neighbors’ choices, but he is content to live and let live.

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“In ten years of walking by night or day, for thousands of miles, he had never met another person walking, not once in all that time.”

(Page 20)

This quote supports the importance of nonconformity. It shows that Mead is unique in his beloved routine of evening walks, and it dramatizes the story because he has never had a problem in 10 years of walking alone at night.