The Pedestrian close reading

Report
“The Pedestrian”
A Closer Look
What is a pedestrian?
(noun)
1. a person who goes or travels on foot; walker.
(adjectives)
2. going or performed on foot; walking.
3. of or pertaining to walking.
4. lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.;
commonplace; prosaic or dull: a pedestrian commencement
speech.
How does the author incorporate the
definitions in story?
• a person who goes or travels on foot; walker.
•
The protagonist, Leonard Mead, is a traveler on foot or walker. enjoys
walking neighborhood at night.
• going or performed on foot; walking. of or pertaining
to walking.
– The protagonist, Leonard Mead, enjoys walking neighborhood at night.
• lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.;
commonplace; prosaic or dull
– The suburban life: Bradbury compares life to a tomb, says they
communities are empty.
One theme: CONFORMITY
1. action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes,
practices, etc.
2. correspondence in form, nature, or character; agreement,
congruity, or accordance.
3. compliance or acquiescence; obedience.
4. a type of social influence involving a change in belief or
behavior in order to fit in with a group. This change is in
response to real (involving the physical presence of others)
or imagined (involving the pressure of social norms /
expectations) group pressure.
One theme: CONFORMITY
1. Is there a place for conformity in society?
2. Why?
3. How do you feel when you are expected to conform?
4. Do you encourage conformity or rebel against it?
Next:preform a close reading on story
• The next few slides will assist you in
perform a close reading.
How to do a close reading?
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adXdTXEzmzE
(YouTube clip)
• Consider these four elements
–
–
–
–
Language
Narrative
Syntax
Context
Language (diction used to fit the audience, style and purpose of the text)
• What did the author repeat?
• What was emphasized?
• What kind of language is used?
– Formal/informal
– Slang
– Figurative language/mood words
• What words are important to
understanding the theme/thesis?
Narrative (the story)
• Who is telling the story?
• From what perspective (point of view) is
the story told?
• How is the story told?
• What motivates the narrator to tell the
story in this manner?
Syntax (the order author’s arrange their words to provide
meaning/get a point across) (grammar/sentence structure)
• Does the author use Standard American
English?
• Why would the author use nonstandard
syntax?
• Who is the audience?
• How does this writing style affect the
audience?
Context (happenings surrounding story’s authorship)
• What is the setting of the story?
• What is the background of the author?
• In what environment was the story
written? (what was happening at the time
the story was written?)
Language
• Used informal language(conversational)
• Slang (reveals the mindset of the protagonist)
Language
• What did the author repeat/emphasize?
– The idea of suburban lifestyle as a tomb/place for the
dead/emptiness(cars like scarab beetles; homes
tombs; emptiness of police
– Mead’s walk was really just to take a stroll about the
community
– The idea that Mead had no TV (accusative silence)
Language
• Imagery
– Helps describe the setting
• Crystal frost of the air
• Sound of leaves crushing under his sneakers
• Skeleton pattern of fallen leaf, rusty smell
• Cloverleaf intersection
– Describe the police/police car
• Metallic voice
• Sent, feel, and size of the backseat of car
Narrative
• Who is telling the story/ what point of view?
– Unknown omniscient narrator
• How is the story told?
– Author uses narration at beginning to set the scene/ next
allows the reader to experience the story through dialogue
– Allows the reader to connect and identify with the
protagonist
• What motivates the narrator to tell the story in this manner?
– Explain the dangers of overusing technology
– Explain how pedestrian (see fourth definition) life will become if
technology becomes our main focal point.
– Persuade readers to unplug sometimes and enjoy life
Syntax
(grammar/sentence structure)
• Syntax should match both audience and
subject matter.
• Author uses simple and complex
sentences.
– Simple sentences used to ensure all readers
could both enjoy and understand the
narrative
– Complex sentences used to match the
complex subject matter of the dangers of
conformity.
Context
• Setting: 1950’s Cali suburb
– 50’s
• Cold War
• Space race
• WWII recovery
• Communism v/s capitalism
• Korean Conflict
Context
• Ray Bradbury’s life
– Lived with a large extended family
– Wrote science fiction
– Activist against humanity’s total
dependence on science
– Friends with Gene Rodenberry (Star Trek)
– Married w/ children
– Didn’t drive nor owned a car
– Enjoyed daily strolls
Context
• Setting: 1950’s Cali suburb
– Story’s setting
• 1950
• California
• Suburbia
– American Dream
– Safety
– Conformity
• Taking a western stroll
– West symbolizes
» of moving away from wisdom
» Death
» from nature to technology
Context
• Setting: 1950’s Cali suburb
– Story’s setting (cont.)
• Meets at a Clover Leaf intersection
– Clovers symbolize luck
– Intersections symbolize choices
• Taking a western stroll
– West symbolizes
» of moving away from wisdom
» Death
» from nature to technology
How do these aspects help readers understand
the text?
• Language/syntax
– Simple and some complex to better
understand the tone
– Purpose of story
• To entertain
• To persuade against a life controlled by
technology
How do these aspects help readers understand
the text?
• Narrative
– Heavy dialogue to help the reader connect
with the text
– Allows the reader to evaluate/juxtapose
his/her life to the experiences of the
characters
How do these aspects help readers understand
the text?
• Context
– Leaves reader with an awareness of society
– Allows readers to make a choice about
science and technology (friend of foe), how
both have affected history and humankind,
and if conformity is a danger of society or
the protector of society?
Works Cited
Beers, Kylene, Carol Jago, Deborah Appleman, Leila
Christenbury, Sara Kajder. Elements of Literature,
Fourth Course. Austin: Holt Rinehart Winston, 2008.
(Print).

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