The Pedestrian

Essay 1Fall 2021English 112: Utopia and DystopiaProfessor MukherjeeDue date: Tuesday, February 15 via BlackboardThe essay should be saved as word doc and posted as an attachmentTechnicalities:Length: Minimum 2 pages, maximum 3 pages, double-spacedFont: Times Roman or CalibriFont Size: 12 ptsTitle: Essay should have a meaningful titleCover page: Upper left hand corner: Course details; center: Title of essay, assignment details(like English 112, essay 1, etc.)Pagination: Give page numbersEssay 1 is based on the theme of dystopia in Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Pedestrian,” andthe film version of it.Overview: “The Pedestrian” is a story of a futuristic America set in 2053. The society istechnology-dominated. As shown in the film, the cityscape is high tech; authorities man the citywith surveillance technology of the highest order. But technological progress manifests itselfmost pervasively in television. Like the smartphones of our day, television is shown to beubiquitous in the America of 2053 in “The Pedestrian.” Citizens are enslaved to television andevery household (except Meade’s) has a TV. As Leonard Meade says, in the film, TV is like“Medusa” (a figure from Greek mythology who could turn onlookers into stone) that hasmesmerized the minds and souls of all citizens. What he means is that citizens are so addictedto mindless entertainment that they have lost two valuable aspects of citizenship: the abilities forthought and reflection. Of course, this enslavement to entertainment helps the authorities toconsolidate power and maintain a totalitarian regime. As in “The Hunger Games,” massentertainment is a great tool to keep citizens in the dark about the real ills and issues of society(symbolized by the Capitol). It’s a great tool to keep people from rebelling even when injustice isrampant in society. Leonard Meade is the only citizen who rebels; it’s no surprise that he reads,writes, thinks, reflects and does not own a TV set. He also walks, meaning he is a completenonconformist with a mind of his own. Thus he is also a threat to authority. In the film, he endsup being a bringer of change, as we see how his friend, who used to be a TV addict, carries onwith Meade’s program.Your essay should explore this theme of dystopia thoroughly with a special focus on what’sstated above.Your essay will be evaluated on the basis of two aspects of essay writing:• Content or the quality of your thoughts expressed• Structure or the adherence to the rules of grammar, organization and clarityContent• Essay must have a central thesis. The theme is not=a thesis. A thesis is an argument youmake that you then support with analysis of materials from the texts. “The Pedestrian is adystopia” is not a thesis but a statement or an observation. A thesis is your point of view onwhat is dystopic about America of 2053 in Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian.” “Though there is nocrime in the society, the peace is a violent peace.” Now that’s closer to a thesis, because itstates a shocking truth about the America presented in “The Pedestrian.”• Essay must have a solid structure with an Introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.• The Introduction is key to an essay; the introduction establishes a bigger context within which the thesis can then be understood• In your essay you need to be analytical, not simply describe the plot summary of stories• In the essay, you need to use at least 2 quotations from the story. Theessay mustdemonstrate paragraphing skills, i.e. paragraphs must have unity and focus specific topicsentences, and analysis of appropriate quotes from the reading.Structure• The essay must be organized well.• There should be transition from paragraph to paragraph in the essay. Avoid abrupt moves fromone point of the essay to another.• Essays must be grammatically correct.The paragraph is the building block of all essays. Be very attentive to writing good paragraphs inyour essay. There is a Power Point on the analytical paragraph on your course blackboard.Please consult it.

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