The Pedestrian Ray Bradbury
Opening Task The Pedestrian is set in the future, in 2053. 1) In your groups, think about what the world might be like in 2053. You should think about: • • • Technology Society Human Interactions Problems that humans may encounter How life might be different to what it is today Global Crisis Take notes and be prepared to feed back your thoughts to the class… you have 10 minutes.
Watch the following video and take notes on what you think are the KEY POINTS made in it. http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=E 5 sey. XLR 2 f. Q
Task 2 Now, think about the future of technology. In your jotters, answer the following questions. 1) How far do you think technology will advance by the year 2053. Give some examples. 2) How dependant on technology do you think we, as humans, will be? 3) Do you think that technology will completely replace anything that is done by humans in 2014? 4) Write down 3 negative and 3 positive points for the development of technology. 5) Do you think our social skills and interactions will have changed by 2053 because of technology? If so, why?
• The Pedestrian is a short story by best-selling sci-fi author Ray Bradbury • The story was originally published in the August 7, 1951 issue of The Reporter by The Fortnightly Publishing Company. • His more than five hundred published works -- short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse – show the American imagination at its most creative. So, what’s it about? Through the character of Leonard Mead, Bradbury explores a futuristic and democratic society that no longer thinks for itself. We are shown a world where books are no longer read and where citizens are controlled through the power of television and the media.
Now that you’ve read the story, answer the following questions in your jotter. YOU SHOULD USE EVIDENCE FROM THE TEXT TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWERS. 1) What happens in the story? 2) Who is the main character? What do we know about him? 3) Why does he go on a walk? What does it suggest about him? 4) Why is he arrested and sent to the Psychiatric Centre for Research on Regressive Tendencies? What is meant by ‘regressive tendencies’?
1) What is the atmosphere like at the start of the story? Use evidence from the text to back up your answers. 2) Describe the setting that is introduced to us in the first paragraph. 3) What do you think the purpose of the text is? 4) Describe the society in which Leonard Mead lives. Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 5) Explain the possible reasons that Leonard Mead does not fit into this society. 6) Why does he keep all of his lights on? 7) Bradbury uses repetition of words and images to establish the tone or mood of the story. What is the tone? What specific words or images does Bradbury repeat to help establish the tone of the story? Identify at least three words or images. 8) Think about the structure of a short story. Write down the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution of the story. Use one quotation for each point to back up your answers.
1) Go through the text and find any similes and metaphors. Write them in to your jotter and explain why they are effective. 2) Now do the same for any examples of personification that you find. 3) What do you think the main themes/ideas are in the story? 4) Think about how you would plan an essay about theme of isolation. What key points from the text would you include? Note down 5 key quotes and explain why they are significant.
For each of the following: 1) Write out the title 2) Bullet point 5 key points in the text that you would speak about if you were asked to write an essay on it 3) Find a quote for each point. 4) Write a short description of WHY your point links to the title, and why the quote is effective • A short story that deals with theme of isolation • A short story that deals with theme of loneliness • A short story that has an important incident in it • A short story that has an interesting character in it • A short story that has an important message for the reader
Critical Essay In the exam, you will sit two exam papers. Paper 1 Close Reading 1 HOUR Paper 2 Set Text (Poetry questions) 45 MINUTES Critical Essay (Lamb or Pedestrian) 45 MINUTES For the critical essay section, you will answer ONE question from the PROSE section. There will be two questions to choose from. You are given 1 hour and 30 minutes for paper 2. You must keep track of the time and give yourself 45 minutes for each section – do not spend longer than 50 minutes on one section.
Structure It is important that your critical essay has a set structure – this will help to keep you on track and show your marker that you are both organised and well practiced. You must have: • • Introduction Point 1 (PEE) Point 2 (PEE) Point 3 (PEE) Point 4 (PEE) Point 5 (PEE) Point 6 (PEE) Conclusion (PEE)
A good introduction: • Includes the name and the title of the text you have been studying • Gives a very BRIEF plot summary (this can be 1 -2 lines) • Refers to ALL ASPECTS of the question – it should outline what you are going to be discussing • Should sound sophisticated and confident – let the marker see that you know your stuff! • Should ALWAYS AVOID “This essay will discuss” or “This essay will talk about…” NB The first line can often be the same, no matter what your essay question.
Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non-fiction which explores an important theme. By referring to appropriate techniques, show the author has explored this theme. Ray Bradbury’s thought-provoking short story, The Pedestrian, explores a futuristic and democratic society that no longer thinks for itself. Through the central character, Leonard Mead, Bradbury explores many important themes and ideas, but perhaps emphasises theme of isolation the most. Through his use of imagery, characterisation and many other techniques, he is successful in exploring this theme, and allows us to gain an understanding of main concerns of the text as a whole.
TASK – Write sample introductions for the following questions. You should write ONE for Lamb to the Slaughter and ONE for The Pedestrian. Write the questions in your jotter. 1) Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non-fiction which explores an important theme. By referring to appropriate techniques, show the author has explored this theme. 2) Choose a novel or a short story in which the author creates a fascinating character. By referring to appropriate techniques, show the author has created this character and why you found him/her so fascinating. 3) Choose a novel or short story that deals with an unpleasant aspect of human life. By referring to appropriate techniques, show this aspect of human life is portrayed realistically by the authors description of characters, places and happenings in the story. 4) Choose a novel or short story in which tension or suspense is built up. By referring to appropriate techniques, show this tension or suspense is built up and explain why it is important in our understanding of the story as whole.
Once you have your completed your introduction, you will then choose 5 -6 KEY POINTS from the text that you are going to talk about, that are relevant to answering your questions. For each point you should follow the PEE structure. POINT This should have a TOPIC sentence that introduces the point you are going to make, and links back to the question. It should also introduce your quote. EVIDENCE You should provide a quote to back up your point. EXPLAIN You should then ANALYSE the quote and explain why it is relevant/what it suggests/what technique is being used etc. You should finish this was a sentence that links back to the question.
Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non-fiction which explores an important theme. By referring to appropriate techniques, show the author has explored this theme. POINT 1 POINT Though theme of isolation becomes more apparent as the plot develops, it is first brought to our attention at the opening of the story. We can recognise this theme when Bradbury tells us that Leonard Mead was: EVIDENCE “alone in this world of A. D. 2053, or as good as alone” EXPLAIN The repetition of “alone” emphasises the fact that not only is the setting isolated, but the story’s central character feels isolated in it. We can understand that, though he perhaps isn’t physically alone, he is isolated on a more personal level, separated from the few around him by an alternative viewpoint or belief. Through the use of setting and characterisation, Bradbury is successful in introducing theme of isolation to us, and highlighting its importance in allowing us to understand the novel as a whole.
Choose a novel or short story that deals with an unpleasant aspect of human life. By referring to appropriate techniques, show this aspect of human life is portrayed realistically by the authors description of characters, places and happenings in the story. • • Introduction Point 1 (PEE) Point 2 (PEE) Point 3 (PEE) Point 4 (PEE) Point 5 (PEE) Point 6 (PEE) Conclusion (PEE)
PEE (Point Evidence Explain) When you are introducing a point, your initial statement should be relatively short – your points come from your analysis. You should open your point up with a TOPIC SENTENCE. It should indicate that you have changed what you are talking about and introduce your new argument. It should also link back to the question in some way. You should the INTRODUCE your quote – don’t just throw it in there. You should introduce the quote with a colon (: ) Choose a play in which a there is a significant character development. Explain how the character changes throughout the play, and discuss why it is crucial to the development of the plot. POINT Though Mary Maloney undergoes a drastic change in character as the story develops, we are initially introduced to her as an idealistic wife. This is highlighted through Dahl’s description of their home:
PEE – Explain Once you have your EVIDENCE (your quote) you should be thinking about: • WHY it is significant • WHY it is important evidence for answering the question • WHAT techniques are used • WHAT it highlights about the character, plot, theme etc • WHAT it allows the reader to understand DO NOT re-tell the story – it is ANALYSIS that your marker is looking for You CAN add your opinion in here – but don’t spend too much time with this. Try to avoid: This quote shows that. . . Instead, try: In stating that the living room is ‘untouched’, Dahl is successful in highlighting. .
POINT Though Dahl is not obvious in highlighting Mary’s odd character, we are able to recognise, through subtle hints, that she may not be the perfect housewife. This is highlighted at the start of the story, as Dahl describes the atmosphere and physical state of the Maloney’s living room: EVIDENCE “[. . . ] everything lay untouched, clean and unused. ” EXPLAIN As Dahl describes the setting as “untouched” , it not only suggests Mary’s motivation as an idealistic housewife, but it suggests that their is something ‘unnatural’ about their marital home. Though it appears physically immaculate, Dahl’s unusual word choice highlights that their marriage too, is perhaps empty and without love, but externally looks quite appealing. Additionally, Dahl’s consistent use of dramatic irony allows us, as the reader, to recognise Mary’s odd character, whilst appreciating that those around her are oblivious. This technique allows us to understand the significance of her character development, and its importance in our understanding of plot development. It further highlights Dahl’s love for black comedy, as we realise that Mary has a dark, uneasy side to her nature.
CONCLUSION Your conclusion should be very brief, but make a final, definite point. In a way, it shouldn’t sound too different from your introduction. It should include: • Author • Title of the text • Reference back to the question • Your overall opinion – link this to the argument you have made throughout the text. The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury is a thought provoking story that warns us of the danger of technology. Though Bradbury explores many key themes, I found that the most prominent one is ‘isolation’. This is shown primarily through the main character, Leonard Mead. He is described as being isolated in his opinions, his actions, and generally from the rest of his society who are driven only by technology. It is only when we can understand Mead as a character, that we can truly appreciate how important theme of isolation is in our understanding of the novel as a whole. I thought this was a fascinating story, that really made me question the society we live in and how dependant we are on technology. The story itself is a warning which, personally, I hope we, act on.
Choose a novel or short story which deals with a darker side of human nature. By referring to appropriate techniques, show this side of human nature is highlighted by the author’s description of characters, places and events. OR Choose a novel or short story in which our initial impression of a character has to be reconsidered as the story progresses. Explain how the author creates the initial impression and discuss how the reconsideration affects your understanding of the story as a whole.
TASK 1) You are going to write a critical essay – use all the notes in your jotter to help you. You should follow ALL the structure that has been given. You should do this essay on lined paper. Put your name, the date and the WHOLE question as your title. Make sure you know what your 6 points are before you start! (6 quotes) Remember. . Introduction Point 1 Point 2 Point 3 Point 4 Point 5 Point 6 Conclusion Make sure you are ALWAYS answering BOTH parts of the question.
TASK 1)Read over all of the notes you have been given – there’s quite a few handouts! 2)Highlight any important information. 3)Make notes on each of the techniques for The Pedestrian. This should include mentioning what technique is being used, what is suggests and why it is effective. You should be selecting relevant quotes to back up your point.
Choose a novel or short story which looks at an unnatural, negative aspect of existence. By referring to appropriate techniques, show this way of living is portrayed in a way that we can understand by the author’s description of people/places/ events.
Choose a novel or short story in which the central character changes in some way. By referring to appropriate techniques, you should show the character develops and explain how the change in their character impacts the ending of the story.