26 Feb. 2015
Analytical Paper: The Veldt While many stories arguably have a hidden meaning, Ray Bradbury’s short sci-fi story “The Veldt” is often seen as one of the greatest examples; showing how families are too reliant on technology. The story is about a family who has recently moved into a new, more technologically advanced house with all sorts of mechanical wonders, which the children soon come to put on a pedestal and worship. The children also develop a disturbing reliance on all of the machines that are in their new home. The parents notice the house acting strangely and decide to shut it off, but the children don’t take it very well and it doesn’t end well for the parents. In the story Bradbury has created a utopia, but in the case of Bradbury’s creation, a lot of things go wrong, and the Hadleys’ world is turned on its head. Bradbury’s poetic writing style takes the reader out of the everyday world and into a fantasy world, not unlike a child’s fantasy. The world of “The Veldst” takes children’s fantasy and makes it concrete. Phrases in the story such as “Nothing is too good for our children” and “Every home should have one” (Bradbury, “The Veldt”) bring the reader’s attention to the material worship that dominate many American households.
Warner 2 In this dark and troubling story, Bradbury shows the dangers that are quite possible with the speed and advancement of technology and how important communication between families are during those times. What started as an advantage and a main point of desirability of their home becomes the main source of turmoil. Both parents have a difficult time finding a sense of fulfillment as parents, as they have been replaced by their new home. At multiple points in the story they consider shutting the house down to have a “normal” family. Throughout the story there seems to be a correlation between advancements in technology and a lack of communication in families. The children in the story are manipulative and stubborn and have little to poor communication with their parents. Most of their interactions with their parents are thinly veiled threats or a crying session to get what they want. “The parents have spent so little time with their children they really don't know them and they certainly have no control over them.” (raybradbury.com) While this is a common occurrence throughout America now, the parents in The Veldt are unsure how to handle the situation because they have been replaced as caretakers by their new home. Each of these exchanges ends with the children getting what they want; these negative interactions emphasizing the importance of inter-family communications. Psychology also plays a role in the story as well. It is revealed that the original purpose of the nursery was the study the mind of children, because what they left on the walls would allow a glimpse into the inner workings of their minds. Although the parents are suspicious about the ever present African veldt in the nursery, it is not until a psychologist arrives that they know for
Warner 3 sure something is seriously wrong. He insists the house be shut down immediately and the children start psychological treatment as soon as possible.
According to Ray Bradbury technology has turned human beings into objects of slavery, with the mother in the story, Lydia, saying “They live for the nursery.” (Bradbury, “The Veldt). The technology is the biggest point of desire for the Hadley’s new home, but it ends up being the family’s undoing. By the time George and Lydia have decided the house needs to be shut down they had already lost their children to the nursery, their new artificial mother and father. Although Bradbury’s story is not written with today’s technology in mind, the message is no less prominent. Bradbury builds up the sense that something isn’t right with a variety of techniques. He focuses on the color yellow for the sun and the…