Utopia and Dystopia

Response Paper 1 is based on the theme of dystopia in Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Pedestrian,” and the film version of it. 

Overview: “The Pedestrian” is a story of a futuristic America set in 2053. The society is repressive. As shown in the film, the cityscape is high-tech; authorities man the city with surveillance technology of the highest order. But technological progress manifests itself most pervasively in television. Like the smartphones of our day, television is shown to be ubiquitous in the America of 2053 in “The Pedestrian.” Citizens are enslaved to television and every 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 has mesmerized the minds and souls of all citizens. What he means is that citizens are so addicted to mindless entertainment that they have lost two valuable aspects of citizenship: the abilities for critical thinking and reflection. Of course, this enslavement to entertainment helps the authorities to consolidate power and maintain a totalitarian regime. As in “The Hunger Games,” mass entertainment 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 is rampant 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 complete nonconformist with a mind of his own. Thus, he is also a threat to authority. In the film, he ends up being a bringer of change, as we see how his friend, who used to be a TV addict, carries on with Meade’s program. 

Your response paper should explore this theme of dystopia thoroughly with a special focus on what makes the society of America in 2053 a repressive regime and how are citizens themselves responsible for their own “captivity”. Is there a similarity between America of 2022 and America of 2053?    

Your paper 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 clarity


  • Paper must have a central thesis. The theme is not a thesis. A thesis is an argument you make that you then support with analysis of materials from the texts. “The Pedestrian is a dystopia” is not a thesis but a statement or an observation. A thesis is your point of view on what is dystopic about America of 2053 in Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian.” “Though there is no crime in the society, the peace is a violent peace.” Now that’s closer to a thesis, because it states a shocking truth about the America presented in “The Pedestrian.”
  • 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
  • You need to be analytical, not simply describe the plot summary of stories
  • You need to use at least 2 quotations from the story. You must demonstrate paragraphing skills, i.e. paragraphs must have unity and focus specific topic sentences, and analysis of appropriate quotes from the reading.


  • The paper must be organized well.
  • There should be a transition from paragraph to paragraph in the paper. Avoid abrupt moves from one point to another.
  • Writing must be grammatically correct to the best of your ability.

Length: Minimum 2 pages, maximum 3 pages, double-spaced

Font: Times Roman or Calibri

Font Size: 12 pts

Title: paper should have a meaningful title

Pagination: Give page numbers

2-4 references MLA STYLE

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