English 10 (ENG201) Master Course
"The Pedestrian" Reading Questions
After reading “The Pedestrian,” answer the following questions with a partner. Be sure to write in complete sentences and provide answers that show both an understanding of the story and reflection on what it means. If you come across unfamiliar words, be sure to look them up in the dictionary.
- Read the very first paragraph of Bradbury’s story again. What atmosphere, or mood, do you sense? What words seem to emphasize this feeling?
- What do you think the narrator means by saying that Leonard Mead is “as good as alone”?
- How are the sidewalks in the story described? What does this description imply, or suggest, about this future society?
- What is the setting of this story?
- List three sentences or phrases that make the reader think Leonard Mead is the only person still alive in this story.
- What passage reveals that there are indeed other people who live in this city?
- Leonard Mead is the only human character we encounter in this story and clearly he has no power. Who or what seems to be in charge of this society?
- At the end of the story, Mead is being taken to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies. What “regressive tendencies” does Mead exhibit?
- What response does the police automan give when Mead says he is a writer? What does this say about this society?
- Ray Bradbury avoids giving details about how this society came into being. He does give some clues, however. (One clue is embedded in question #7.) Review the details of the story and write your own description of how our current society could evolve into the one Bradbury describes in this story.
- What are the two meanings of the word “pedestrian”? Describe the irony in the double meaning as it pertains to the story.