The Pedestrian Short Story Full Text

‘The Pedestrian’ is a short story written by American novelist Ray Bradbury in 1951. It is a dystopian story in which a man named Leonard Mead is arrested for the crime of walking alone down a street at night. The story explores the consequences of a future in which technology has become so advanced that people are isolated from one another, leading to a society where individuality is suppressed.

The story begins with Leonard Mead walking alone in the city at night. The city is described as being “automatically lit” and “empty and sterile”. He walks for pleasure and to reminisce about the past, when people would come out in the evening to stroll and to visit with one another. As he walks, he hears a voice calling out to him from a police car, asking him what he is doing and why he is out so late. He is then taken into custody by a robot policeman.

At the police station, Leonard is questioned by the robot and the humans behind it. He explains that he was merely out for a walk, but they do not understand. They ask him why he would walk alone and why he would do something so unnecessary in a society that values efficiency and practicality. The police accuse him of being a “minority of one” and of disrupting the peace. They also accuse him of being a “social deviant” and of not being “conformable”.

Leonard is eventually released, but he is warned that he will be arrested again if he is ever seen walking alone in the city again. He returns home and contemplates the future of a society that values conformity over individuality. He laments that a future in which everyone is equal may not be a good thing, and he reflects on the importance of individual expression and freedom.

‘The Pedestrian’ is a powerful story that explores the consequences of a society that values conformity over individuality. It shows how a lack of individual expression can lead to a world without creativity and without joy. It serves as a warning against the dangers of complacency and the need to stand up for one’s beliefs, even in the face of adversity.