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TV and its Effects

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TV may be a form of entertainment for many people, but some people say it ruins families. The essay “Primal Screen” by Ellen Goodman and the short story “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury both examine the negative aspects of TV on families and society as a whole. Goodman uses a harsh diction and Bradbury uses imagery to convey their message.

Ellen Goodman explains how TV affects families in a negative way by using harsh words to emphasize that TV destroys families. She explains through “Primal Screen” that the fact people watch TV is an “addiction” and “the average kid develops that distant, slack-jawed, hypnotic, hooked stare…” (Goodman, 25-26). This explains how kids take TV too seriously in life and take it as a major priority in life. Also, they young kids would create a very bad addiction out of it. Kids in school might not do well because all they think about is TV and get distracted. Another example would be when Goodman states that families have “become an audience and not a family,” (Goodman, 28)”. This means that families sit around a TV and communicate rarely if possible. Families just sit around and ignore each other when the traditional belief of TV is to have family time.

Ray Bradbury uses his fictional story “The Pedestrian” in the form of imagery to validate the negative aspects of TV on society. In his story, a man named Leonard Mead walks along a street with houses described as “tombs, ill lit by television light” and where people “sat like the dead” (Bradbury, 117-118). This emphasizes how families in the future will sit in front of the TV because they have nothing else to do. Bradbury also asserts how TV can ruin society, including during the day is how Mr. Mead explaining how “during the day it was a thunderous surge of cars, the gas stations open” (Bradbury, 73-74). Bradbury is explaining how active people are at the day, but they still have a hypnotic look on their face, just going along with the day in their constant and daily schedules and finally returning home to “watch” TV all night long.

In conclusion, Goodman and Bradbury stress how TV affects families and society, Ellen with a harsh diction in her essay, and Bradbury with imagery from his story. When combining their ideas we can say that they are possibly fracturing the traditional belief that TV brings families closer together.

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