The Pedestrian Essay Symbolism Of Water

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury Essay

493 Words2 Pages

The short story The Pedestrian is an intriguing story that takes place in the future. This story suggests that if the world continues the progress that it is now then we will become no more than humans who are doing nothing with our lives. It shows how people would seclude themselves from others and begin to stop caring for others. Is this actually a possibility in the future? In this short story there is a man by the name of Mr. Mead who doesn’t necessarily do the same as everyone else. In this future based story, there is a curfew for everyone at which they should begin to watch TV. Mr. Mead does not like this so every night he goes out and walks around the town looking into houses. One night a police car sees him and stops him. The…show more content…

At the end of the story we pass Mr. Mead’s house and see his house is the only one that has its lights on. The police car tells Mr. Mead that he will be taken to “the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.” The only true character in this story is Mr. Mead. He is a man who decides he does not have to follow everyone else. He makes his own decisions and does not stay inside and become entranced by his TV. Instead he decides that he wants to go outside and get some fresh air so he is not stuck in his house. Though he is eventually arrested he takes a stand for what he believes in. Imagery is one of the best used literary devices in this short story. Imagery means “The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/define/imagery) In The Pedestrian Bradbury tells us that Mr. Mead’s house “had all of its electric lights brightly lit, every window s loud yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool darkness.” (51) This story also uses imagery when it talks about the police car and says, “…peered into the back seat, which was a little cell, a little black jail with bars. It smelled of riveted steel. It smelled of harsh antiseptic; it smelled too clean and hard and metallic. There was nothing soft there.” Another very well used literary device in this story is personification. Personification is when an inanimate object is given human attributes. In the specific instance

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Although fire is the overriding symbol in this novel, water comes into play several times. One of the most symbolic is the comparison that Faber makes to Montag, trying to convince him to act as a double-agent in the firehouse.

He would be Montag-plus-Faber, fire plus water, and then, one day, after everything had mixed and simmered and worked away in silence, there would be neither fire nor water, but wine. Out of two separate...

Although fire is the overriding symbol in this novel, water comes into play several times. One of the most symbolic is the comparison that Faber makes to Montag, trying to convince him to act as a double-agent in the firehouse.

He would be Montag-plus-Faber, fire plus water, and then, one day, after everything had mixed and simmered and worked away in silence, there would be neither fire nor water, but wine. Out of two separate and opposite things, a third.
(Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Google Books)

This is symbolic of the new society that Faber -- and the book people, who Montag meets later -- wants to create. The change will come quietly and from underneath, as water at the base of a fire slowly removes the fire's fuel. The Biblical reference is echoed later by Chief Beatty, who remarks, "You think you can walk on water with your books." Montag does not see himself as a Messianic figure, but his passion for books and learning is equally dangerous to the rigid, government-controlled society.

Water also plays into Montag's final shedding of his old life; while he floats down the river, he reflects on the infinite nature of the universe and the way everything is destroyed, eventually. The water gives him the leisure time to actually think his future through and then make the conscious, independent decision to stop burning and start creating.

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