Short Story #101: The Pedestrian By Ray Bradbury

Title:  The Pedestrian

Author:  Ray Bradbury

Summary

Ray Bradbury - S Is For Space book coverIt's evening in the year 2053 and Leonard Mead is out for an evening walk, just as he has for nearly a decade.  He wanders the abandon streets noticing the soft glow of the TV screen from everyone home he passes.  No one is out in the evening, they all huddle around the entertainment centers at their home.  However, a police car pulls him over when he is close to his home.  This is a strange event since there is only 1 police car in the city because crime has been so significantly reduced.  The police car is unmanned but can communicate.  It inquires what Mead is doing out at night and he explains he's walking.  After back and forth between the two, it's clear the idea of an evening walk is utterly foreign in this world.  The police car insists that he get in the car and is going to be taking to a psychiatric ward for his regressive tendencies.  As they drive away, they pass Mead's house which is the only one with lights on besides a television.  

Reflection

This is one of those over-the-top "technology is evil" stories that I can find bordering on the obnoxious with Bradbury.  There's a level of uncritical thought in his criticism in that the story seems even reluctant that crime has all but disappeared.  This kind of science-fiction fails in that it starts with the magical "what if" question but then fails to be as imaginative in its world-creation as it might have in its initial question

Short Story #101 out of 365
Rating: 1 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  4/8/2014
Source:  S Is For Space by Ray Bradbury.  Bantam Books, 1970.  You can also find this short story on this website.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.



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