The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
- Length: 460 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
The story of The Veldt, is a delving into the issue of how modern
technology can destroy the nuclear family. The editor of the Encounters
book, John A. Rothermich comments that "This story is almost devoid of
characterization.", I agree with this statement and think it is key to the
plot of the story.
The story begins with the mother of the family, who has quite a
generic name. We are given no information of the characters background and
how they came to the point in time they are now. The lines "Happylife
Home" and the familiar room settings like the parent's bedroom and the
nursery give you a sense that this is a typical suburban home of the time.
The mother seems alarmed or confused about something, "the nursery
is...different now than it was", this at first might lead you to believe
the mother has true individual characteristics. However, when you read on,
you see the stereotyped reactions to every situation that comes about, the
parents then say "nothing's too good for our children".
Later in the story the parents discuss the problems of the incredible
house and nursery, "The house is wife, mother, and nursemaid, Can I compete
with it?", and the father has a generic answer "But I thought that's why we
bought this house". The parents in the story look upon their children's
needs as services instead of ways of expressing any love or care.
In the story we never learn anything about the children except for
their obsession with the nursery, "I don't want to do anything but look and
listen and smell; what else is there to do?". When the parents tell the
children the idea of shutting down the computerized house "for a vacation",
the children react shocked and stay with their one, single characteristic
given, they act shocked "Who will fry my eggs for me, or darn my socks?".
You see then the children's primary relationship is to the house and not
the parents, the children exclaim "I wish you were dead!". And sure
enough, by the end of the story the children act on their on
How to Cite this Page
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Ray Bradbury Nursery Nuclear Family Encounters Characteristic Suburban Smell Bedroom Comments
This short story was published in the early 1950's, Using a major
issue of the time. Ray Bradbury was trying to make a specific point about
the dangers of the new directions of our society, Television was becoming a
baby sitter to children in many homes. Busy parents were replacing their
own affection and time for their children, with the goggle box. The story
concentrates on how this relationship can eventually destroy the family,
even in a future society. In order to do this, Mr. Bradbury concentrates
on his point and reduces the characters into universal "generic people".
The Veldt By Ray Bradbury Essay
Throughout the short story “The Veldt," Bradbury uses foreshadowing to communicate the consequences of the overuse of technology on individuals. Lydia Hadley is the first of the two parents to point out the screams that are heard on the distance where the lions are. George soon dismisses them when he says he did not hear them. After George locks the nursery and everyone is supposed to be in bed, the screams are heard again insinuating that the children have broken into the nursery, but this time both the parents hear them. This is a great instant of foreshadowing as Lydia points out that "Those screams—they sound familiar" (Bradbury 6). At that moment, Bradbury suggests that George and Lydia have heard the screams before. He also includes a pun by saying that they are “awfully familiar” (Bradbury 6) and giving the word “awfully” two meanings. At the end we realize that “the screams are not only awfully familiar, but they are also familiar as well as awful" (Kattelman). When the children break into the nursery, even after George had locked it down, Bradbury lets the reader know that the children rely immensely on technology to not even be able to spend one night without it. The screams foreshadow that something awful is going to happen because of this technology.
In the short story, little things are mentioned that foreshadow what is about to happen. The screams are one of the main things. When George enters the nursery after Wendy and finds that it is now a forest full of color, there is an instant of doubt that maybe there never was any Africa or lions after all. George proves the suspicions wrong once he “picked up something that lay in the comer near where the lions had been” (Bradbury). Bradbury describes the wallet to have a smell of grass and lions, with saliva, “and there were blood smears on both sides.” (Bradbury). Also, later on in the story, when David is inspecting the nursery with George, David “bent and picked up a bloody scarf” (Bradbury). If the wallet represents George and the scarf represents Lydia, then we can foreshadow what is going to happen to the two. Both question how the wallet and scarf got there, but they do not suspect anything because the house is the one that does everything around the house. “Happylife Home keeps their house clean, feeds and cares for them in every way a full range of maids and butlers would” (Hart) leaving George and Lydia to know nothing about it. The technology has taken away their roles as parents and owners of the house. Bradbury uses foreshadowing to show how technology can steal an individual’s live without them even knowing.
Bradbury’s use of imagery gives the reader an insight on the minds of the children that are completely taken over by technology. The lions are described in such detail that the image of them instantly appears in your mind. Bradbury points out several times that the lions look, “so real, so feverishly and startlingly real that you could feel the prickling fur on...
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