"The Pedestrian" is a short story by best-selling sci-fi author Ray Bradbury. This story was originally published in the August 7, 1951 issue of "The Reporter" by The Fortnightly Publishing Company. It is included in the collection "The Golden Apples of the Sun" (1953). (From Wikipedia)
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Think about the way other stories you've read have started. How is this sentence different?
This story was written in 1951, so at the time, 2053 was more than 100 years in the future.
Please explain how the images of the graveyard and the tomb in paragraph two impact the tone of the story.
Can you see why Bradbury would use the phrase "skeletal pattern" to describe a leaf? His language evokes the beauty of this image, which, in literary terms, is called IMAGERY. (This annotation contains an image)
The phrase "...made his lungs blaze like a Christmas tree inside" is a simile. Watch this video to learn about the differences between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
What literary device does this sentence contain?
This detail tells us a lot more than you might immediately think. It tells us that the area where the narrator lives is probably not very urban, but more of a sleepy neighborhood away from the city. It tells us that most of the people in this neighborhood are inside, rather than outside of their houses. And it also tells us that the narrator is different from the other people in this neighborhood. You can figure all of these things out by inferring. When we INFER, we draw conclusions from what we read; we figure out things that are not stated directly in the text. See what else you can infer as you continue to read.
So far, Bradbury has emphasized the ____________ of the setting.
As you may know, moths are drawn to light, and the website below will tell you why. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on context clues, what can you infer the word ebbing means?
This violent image is used purposefully. Imagine if Bradbury had written "The light held him fixed, like a museum specimen, delicately held up by its wings." Can you see how this evokes a different feeling than "needle thrust through chest"?
This was Ray Bradbury's actual address, which has caused literary critics to speculate that this short story is actually referring to himself, or is in some related way a message to his home town of Waukegan, Illinois. In an interview, Bradbury revealed that the inspiration for the story came when he was walking down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles with a friend. On their walk, a police cruiser pulled up and asked what they were doing. Bradbury answered, "Well, we're putting one foot in front of the other." The policemen didn't appreciate Ray's joke and became suspicious of Bradbury and his friend for walking in an area where there were no pedestrians. After some arguing the policeman told them to go home and to not walk any more. Bradbury said, "Yes, sir, I'll never walk again."
Notice Bradbury continues to paint images of the natural scenery as Leonard is interrogated by the police car.
Is this interrogation making Leonard Mead anxious or not? How do you know?
Which word in this sentence tells us that Bradbury is using personification to describe the police car?
Judging from the name of the place Leonard is being taken, what can you infer about the place?
Why was Leonard taken away by the police car? Was he breaking a law?