Compare and Contrast Computers Essay Olivia Lamond
Technology has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our society, and many have come to wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing. In the dystopian stories The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury, and Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan, the effects of advanced technology in different circumstances are illustrated through the character’s dilemmas in the stories. The two stories contrast each other, debating whether the use of technology is beneficial or not. The Veldt is about a family who has a house that does everything for them. The house fulfills the role of the children’s parents, and the parents take no part in raising the children.
When the parents eventually try to assert their parental authority, the children use the house to kill them. Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is about a boy named Clay who gets involved with a secret society who call themselves The Unbroken Spine. The members of The Unbroken Spine have devoted the last 500 years to solving a puzzle that could reveal the secret of eternal life. Using artificial intelligence from Google and his own personal intuition, Clay is able to solve the puzzle in just a matter of weeks. Humanity has the ability to use technology for both great good and great evil. In The Veldt, Bradbury argues that over reliance on technology is harmful to society. In the scene where the father, George, tells his son, Peter, that the house is being turned off. Peter replies, ‘That sounds terrible! Would i have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the machine do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?’. The children are so reliant on the technology in the house, they believe they are not able to survive on their own. The children did not learn to do anything for themselves because all of the activities of daily living are being done for them. The idea of a house that takes care of all of one’s basic needs sounds like a good thing, however, there is no replacement for love. Without love from their parents, the children do not form an emotional attachment to them.
A computerized house can not teach children right from wrong. At the end of the book, the parents went to turn off the house. The thought of having to live normally terrifies the children, so they lock their parents in the nursery. Their dad says, ‘Open the door!… Why, they’ve locked it from the outside!’. With their parents trapped inside, the children release creatures of their imagination to kill and devour their parents. They choose to murder their parents rather become self reliant. They think that they are living a better lifestyle with their technology, however, they lose the human aspect of themselves and everyone that loves them. The children choosing technology over their own parents is a scary reflection of what the future might hold. If people continue to get so attached to their devices, they can take the place of loved ones. With time, technology might isolate humans from friends and family. Bradbury wanted his readers to take away that relying too heavily on technology can and will have negative effects in unimaginable ways.In Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Sloan presents technology as helpful to society. Clay demonstrates that people are capable of doing things with technology that they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Clay is using his technological skills to make a 3D model of the bookstore: “To begin, I had to copy the database from Penumbra’s old Mac Plus onto my laptop, which was actually not a trivial task, since the Mac Plus uses plastic floppy disks and there’s no way to get one of those into a MacBook…but now, with the data in hand, I’m building my model of the store. Clay’s use of technology to reduce the amount of time to build the model shows that technology can be used to make humans more productive. However, he needs to know more than just how to use a technological device, he needs to know how to convert one form of data into another form so that he could use it and move it between two incompatible devices. His ability to do this makes it possible for him to make a 3D model of the bookstore quickly and efficiently. A piece of technology is only as good as the person using it.
Making a manual model of the store would require a lot of work, but through the use of technology, all it takes is the transference of data and use of a software program. Clay points out that technology can not function on its own during his speech to the members of The Unbroken Spine. He says, ” ‘Nobody in the fellowship’s five-hundred-year history thought to look this closely. Neither did any of Google’s code-breakers. We were looking at digitized text in a different typeface entirely. We were looking at the sequence, not the shape’. The Google code-breakers had the databases of all the information and the computers they needed to interpret it, but were bound by the two dimensional images that they scanned. The Unbroken Spine dedicated hundreds of years to studying the same information, but could not assemble it effectively enough to solve the riddle. Clay, however, was able to crack the code by having access to all the resources and then looking at it in a way that neither the computers or the Unbroken Spine could on their own. The computers couldn’t solve the code on their own, the humans couldn’t solve the code on their own, they both needed someone to intertwine their efforts to solve the problem.
Technology can be extremely helpful if its being used the right way. Sloan wants his readers to take away that when used correctly, by the right people, technology can benefit society. Humans are able to use technology either to benefit humanity or cause it harm. In The Veldt, the characters become dependant on technology and use it to cause harm rather than risk losing it. Reliance on technology ultimately caused them to lose their humanity. However, In Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, technology is used to make life easier. Responsible people wield the technology, so it can can be used as a labor saving device as opposed to it being a replacement for other humans. Technology itself is neither good or evil. If one is responsible, then technology will help the world, but if one is reckless and self centered, then the use of technology can cause harm.
Ray Bradbury – Master of Words and Connoisseur of Life
“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury is a science fiction short story with the main theme being the consequences of technological advancement. This theme is carried throughout the whole story and is told by third person point of view. George and Lydia Hadley are parents of Peter and Wendy and live in an automated or technologically driven house that does all the work for them; cooks food for them, ties their shoes, gives them a bath, cleans the house, and much more. While it might seem nice that the house does everything for them, George and Lydia realize that there is something wrong with the way they are living as well as one of the rooms in the house, the nursery, where the kids hang out the most. This caused them to call a psychologist to the house to check out the nursery and eventually make a decision, which suggests that they shut down everything in the house, lock up the nursery and start fresh with living a more self-sufficient life. Towards the end, the mood takes a darker turn, realizing too late that the kids are very intelligent and creative; they lure the parents into the nursery, which leaves readers questioning what really happened to them. By writing this story, Ray Bradbury was trying to warn people of future technology and what consequences can occur when its over relied on. Ray Bradbury is known for writing many short science fiction stories that have to do with how advancement in technology can cause bad consequences when people over rely on it including, “The Martian Chronicles”, “The Murderer” and of course “The Veldt” and many more.
In “When I was in Kneepants: Ray Bradbury” by Damon Knight, mentions how Ray Bradbury’s goal in “The Veldt” and many of his other stories was, “Bradbury’s subject is childhood and the buried child-in-man; his aim is to narrow the focus, not to widen it; to shrink all the big frightening things to the compass of the familiar: a spaceship to a tin can; a Fourth of July rocket to a brass kettle; a lion to a Teddy bear”. Ray Bradbury didn’t write stories that had anything to do with fantasy and expand your imagination on unreal things but to simply narrow those imaginations down and focus specifically on reality, how people are doing things or relying too much on things that are hurting their future. He wants people to come to the same conclusion like he did, to try and prevent bad consequences from happening in the future, “big frightening things” that people are unfamiliar with and don’t know how to deal with, to something they are familiar with and that is safe. He wants people to try and continue living self-sufficient lives and not to rely too much on certain things that could cause danger for the future.
“The Veldt” starts off with a conversation between George and Lydia Hadley who live in a thirty thousand dollar house called a “Happylife Home”. This house is an automated/technologically driven house that satisfies all their needs, cooks for them, gives them baths, dresses them etc. so both the parents and kids don’t have to do any work on their own. It starts off by Lydia telling George to take a look at the “nursery” (the most expensive room in the house), a room that has glass walls all around and is able to project any landscape or environment that anyone is thinking about, also a room where their kids hang out the most. She wanted George to take a look at it, as well as call a psychologist to examine the room. The first few paragraphs of the story already show us that the setting is located in a technological future (in a family’s advanced home). The brand “Happylife Home” can be seen as the protection or promotion that consumers might want, almost like a paradise. But bringing a psychologist to check on the room shows that maybe this type of “paradise” is not as amazing as it seems. The narrator also mentions how the nursery is the most expensive room in the house, which can lead us to think how George and Lydia go above and beyond to spoil their kids.
After a small introduction about the house, the nursery and the family, the story continues with George and Lydia entering the nursery, which transforms into the African Veldt. They are able to feel the heat of the sun, smell of the grass, water and even the animals, along with sounds of vultures and lions. Lydia realizes that there are lions in the distance eating something, something that they aren’t able to see along with sounds of screaming. While George doesn’t hear anything this makes Lydia feel nervous. This shows us that what we think a nursery should look like gets turned into a scary veldt that this nursery is. The reality of this veldt seems “too real” for a manufactured reality and it can seem more of an arousing/inspiring interest then the real reality. Also the fact the kids this young imagined the African veldt, which is a scene with animal violence, death, a nature scene instead of imagining something with cartoons or fantasy is interesting. It shows how the technology is consuming their lives, they know things that even the parents aren’t familiar with for such a young age, things that kids their age shouldn’t be thinking about or doing and are able to sort of manipulate the technology. The story continues with George admiring the nursery saying that the technology is “genius” and that is it a “miracle of efficiency” meaning this room is like the greatest point in human power and technology. As the lions come a few feet and start running towards them making George and Lydia run out the room, and shut the door. This makes Lydia cry of fear and George laughing reminding her that this reality isn’t real. This shows the nursery can sometimes feel too real and again how advancing technology is over relied on and can cause changes in behavior or fear from it taking over/being too real.
As the story progresses eventually Lydia tells George to make sure the kids stop reading about Africa and too lock up the nursery. George then tells her maybe she’s working too hard and that she should take a rest, but she explains that its actually because she has almost nothing to do. She suggests that they turn off the house completely and take a vacation. This goes on to show that their depression is caused by the fact that they aren’t doing anything. This house has taken over all of their tasks and so they don’t really feel useful. Lydia shows wanting to be able to cook and clean on her own, and even says that the technology doesn’t really create real happiness and it’s having a bad effect on their physical and psychological health. This home sort of takes their purpose; they want to feel part of normal society and in order to do that they need to work. George also mentions that maybe it is a good idea that the kids stay away from the nursery for a few days and that they have been spending too much time in Africa, where they are able to see death. On the other hand, he says its never too early for a kid to think about death, in fact sometimes they wish it upon others before they really understand what it is. This means that Wendy and Peter might be too addicted to he technology, and gives them too much power without taking any responsibility. As much as he knows that they are kids and maybe don’t fully understand the consequences of death, he’s afraid that Wendy and Peter might lead to actual violence. And again we hear lions roaring and the screams, which lead George to think that his and Lydia’s concerns are true. This can also show that “the veldt” the kids chose instead of choosing what kids normally choose (fantasy), is a loss if innocence.
Moving towards the middle of the story, we know George has went back to the nursery once again, tries to change the nursery walls to Aladdin, and fails. He tells his wife that the nursery is broken, and come to a conclusion that its either since the kids have been thinking about Africa for so long, or Peter somehow set the nursery to stay on this mode. This means that George being incapable of changing the walls of the room suggests this situation is passing beyond his control. The next few scenes in the story start to give more hints about what might happen at the end, what really is happening with the nursery and we get to see the affects of technology on the children’s behavior. When Peter and Wendy come back home from a carnival, George asks them about Africa, and they act like they don’t understand, confused, and insisted they never created such a place. After some time Wendy runs to the nursery and changes the walls to a magical forest where Rima was singing, and tells her parents that it’s not Africa. When the parents went to go see for themselves, George gets frustrated and suspicious and sends the kids to bed. George was walking around the room and found an old wallet of his covered in blood, and chewed up, which makes him leave the nursery and locks it up. The wallet is another sign or hint at what the kids are up to and a hint George might seem to partially understand. The kids also seem to be manipulating their parents and seem to have almost no emotions or feelings almost like robots.
The Language of Writing and Images in the Novel “The Veldt”, Ray Bradbury
In “The Veldt”, Ray Bradbery uses figurative language and details to effectively express the negative effects the house and nursery has had on the Hadly family. Bradbury presents that the two kids and parents rely on their technology- built house. Not only are they not able to do simple tasks such as cooking and tying their shoes, the kids also lose control when they get told the house will be turning off.
Most houses are just framework or a shelter for a family. However, Hadley’s house is so much more. The Hadly family has a self-sufficient house that “clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them”. Bradbery introduces the house with personification to emphasize how alive the house is. By doing so he gives the house a person-like feel. People are usually more attached to and care more about other people so presenting the house in a human like way emphasises to the reader how important the house is to the family. This quote also shows how much the family relies on the house and what it does for them.
Due to the fact that the house does almost everything for the family, the mother feels as though she “doesn’t belong here” because the house “is the wife and mother now, and nursemade”. She feels like she isn’t doing anything a mother should do because the house is doing it for her. She asks “Can I give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently and quickly as the automatic scrub bath can?”. By providing this specific question, Bradbury shows how threatened the mother feels by the house. It emphasises how she feels as though she can’t compete with the technological home, that the house would be faster and more effective in every task. It has impacted her by causing her to feel replaceable or irrelevant.
Not only does the house affect the mother, but it affects George, the father, as well. He has started to “smoke a little more every morning and drink a little more every afternoon and need a little more sedative every night”. These details show how unnecessary the father feels. That he doesn’t have anything to do because of the house. So, he has resorted to drinking and smoking. If the house were not so helpful, the father would feel more valuable to the family and would have less time to do such pointless things, like smoke. The parents’ sadness is not because they aren’t working but simply because they have nothing to do. The house has taken away all their daily tasks, that they no longer feel necessary in their own home. It has taken away their sense of purpose.
Bradbury also hints that it has caused the family to become more distant. He uses a simile saying that Geor ge’s wife was “far down the dark hall, like a framed picture”. By using figurative language, Bradbury demonstrates how detached the family has become. A framed picture makes the reader think of old memories, and a sense of being disconnected. He implies that the house has created the parents and the rest of the family to not be as close as a normal family would be or that they are more detached as a family then they were before the house. Bradbury also uses a detail saying that “Peter looked at his shoes. He never looked at his father any more, nor his mother”. This quote shows how the nursery has affected the relationships within the family. The fact that the child doesn’t feel comfortable to look his mother and father in their eyes really shows the reader how the nursery has taken over their family. The nursery and house have become a key part in Peter’s life. It has started to outshine the mother and father in the role of a parent.
It makes the reader assume that the child spends very little to no time with the parents due to the fact that he “never looked at his father anymore, nor his mother.” The house has also caused the children to seam robotic. Bardbury says that “the brother and sister blinked at him and then at each other”.This is an odd reaction when one’s parents confront their kids about something they did wrong. Most kids will make up some excuse or plead that they are sorry. However, the Hadley children seem not to care and just stare back at their parents. Bradbury also describes a lot of the kids actions and speaking in unison. By using this detail, the reader thinks of monotone, emotionless voice, when the children are speaking. The children seem to not feel any kind of love or care towards their parents.
The parents discuss it together and decided to shut down the house for a while. When the kids find out, they break out of their robotic feelings and get furious. Saying things like “I hate you” and “I wish you were dead!” For children that age, or any age, it is absurd for them to be saying such things to their parents.By using these details it shows how much they care or depend on the nursery.
Due to how upset the children are, the parents decide to let them have one more moment in the nursery, or playroom, before they turn it off for good. The fact that the parents allow their children to go back into the nursery implies that the parents do not think that Peter meant what he said when saying he wanted them dead. They don’t understand the extent of attachment the children feel towards the nursery. The nursery is a room filled with crystal walls. When the children imagine a place, the nursery makes their imagination come to life. So, when the children get one last chance in the nursery, they decide to lock their parents in the nursery and imagine the lions to come kill them. By using this detail Bradbury shows that the nursery has made them so dependent that they feel as though they are unable to live without the house, so they kill their very own parents in order to keep the house alive.The house has affected the children greatly by causing them to be so reliant on it that they are willing to kill when it is threatened to be taken away.
The entire family is affected by this house. From the parents to the kids, the whole family has had their share of effects from the nursery. The Hadley family appears to live a perfect life with their technology home, however in reality the parents feel purposeless and the children are robotic. Wendy and Peter find the nursery more Bradbury’s specific use of figurative language and details shows the major effects it has had. Bradbury successfully uses details to help the reader really understand how dependent and impacted the family is. Without these specific uses, the reader wouldn’t understand the true effects of the house.
The Analysis of the Story “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury
The parents themselves are entirely responsible to the leading of their deaths indirectly. In “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury, the children are set off in the nursery, and after they become possessive of their new house, it sets them in an attempt to kill their own parents in order to prevent the house from shutting down. The parents did not take any action and discipline the children, were not able to shut down the house in time, and did not have the mentality to control the children.
First of all, the parents were unable to achieve what they should of been doing as normal parents and wholly relied on the house to do it all for them, also taking into account they hardly disciplined the children. In this case, it is admitted by the mother when she says “Can i give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic scrub bath can”. Further proving that they were not able to take action. In addition after attempting to shut down the house “The two children were in hysterics. They screamed and pranced and threw things.They yelled and sobbed and swore and jumped on the furniture”. This completely reveals they were not strict enough and did not enforce many if not any rules.
Secondly the parents did not shut down the house. Namely once the children bonded with the nursery it was no going back, “You have let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents”. This evidently validates that the parents went too far with the house and had they been able to shut it down quicker, the kids may have not adapted to their spoiled lives, and resist the change to their new life.
Finally the parents did not have the mental fortitude to control the children and give effect to their lives. As the story progresses it is clear that the parents are becoming increasingly nervous and are fearful “You’ve been awfully nervous lately” and “Lock the nursery for a few days until I get my nerves settled”. Also the parents are beginning to become self aware of their unproductivity, notably “You’re beginning to feel unnecessary too.”, and probably most compelling of all they had to hire a psychologist to come inspect the room, and the inspector himself admits of a bad feeling in the room. This demonstrates the parents distress and incompetence to take care of their children.
Further explaining why the kids killed them because of the lack authority in their parents. Given these points, it is clear to see that the parents are utterly responsible for their deaths incidentally. Had they taken action and rule their children, shut down the house, and not have a nervous disposition, they may have not died so cruelly. This is the story of “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury.
Struggle of Characters in Ray Bradbury’s Works
Philip K. Dick, an American novelist, once claimed, “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” Humans, under certain pressures of reality, inevitably succumb to the natural instinct of their minds. The characters of The Long Rain, The Kaleidoscope, No Particular Night or Morning, and The Veldt by Ray Bradbury all exemplify the quote on “appropriate” or natural instinct of their minds. The mens’ reactions to the Venusian land in The Long Rain, Hollis’ cynical state in The Kaleidoscope, Hitcock’s solipsism in No Particular Night or Morning, and the children’s possessiveness over the nursery in The Veldt all support the quote. The characters’ individual situations are different yet they all slowly reach the break of their mental stability. The intensity of the characters’ situations leads to a strong desire for death and a struggle for sanity in insane situations; a desire to become a part of nothingness.
Hollis struggles to face death in outer space with his crew members and develops a cynical side, debating everything before his death was absolutely pointless. However, Hollis accepts his death and acknowledges his life as a failure filled with unattained dreams and goals, avoiding the complex insanity of his thoughts.He sinks into the darkness of space desiring death; becoming a part of nothingness. Similarly, some essential characters of insanity are Pickard and Simmons from Bradbury’s The Long Rain. Pickard, ultimately, goes insane and tries to drown himself in the pouring rain. Simmons is also driven insane and eventually commits suicide. The Venusian land does not provide a moment of peace for the surviving men which causes the men to turn to their natural instinct; hopelessness and insanity. In the midst of their insanity, they are no longer able to withstand the Venusian nature and yearns for death. Hitchcock’s solipsism puts him into a position that knowledge outside his own is unsure to exist. He displays multiple times throughout the story his philosophy claiming things aren’t real because there is “no mental evidence” he “can feel” (No Particular Night or Morning, 110). The external world and other minds might not exist outside the mind; the only thing he becomes sure of is nothingness which is provided by the vast outer space. Hitchcock confesses that he “liked the idea of nothing on top, nothing on bottom, and a lot of nothing in between” and him “in the middle of nothing” (No Particular Night or Morning, 110). Hitchcock succumbs to the desire of nothingness and walks into space alone, murmuring to himself, “Nothing. Only space” (No Particular Night or Morning, 114). In The Veldt, an insane situation is presented when the Hadley children attempt to murder their parents in order to keep precious technology. According to Beth Kattelmen’s critical analysis on The Veldt, “Because the children have shifted their emotional attachments from their parents to the mechanistic nursery, it becomes both caregiver and an instrument of destruction.” Their extreme attachment to technology drives them to manipulate their parents’ affection and trap them inside a room with lions.
In the story, The Long Rain, there is a comparison made about the pouring rain to the slow droplets of water of Chinese water cure. The message is water, even dripping slowly, can drive a man to insanity. The Chinese water cure is an intriguing metaphor to the characters’ descent into insanity. The Kaleidoscope and No Particular Night or Morning focuses more on nothingness spawned by the insanity of their situations.
Although the characters’ situations are different, the outcomes of insanity are all within the same boundaries. Throughout each of the short stories, there is an overall lingering feeling of hopelessness and despair. The fates of each of the characters are all the same; death. Simply put, nothingness created by insanity leads to the death of all the characters in the three short stories.
Each of the characters struggle with the intense situations they are faced. Since they are no longer able to endure the difficulties, it leads to a strong desire for death or nothingness. The different characters all withheld a certain amount of insanity from their situations before driven to the point of insanity. As stated previously in the quote, it actually is an appropriate response to reality to go insane because, as humans, we are only capable of a certain capacity. Ray Bradbury is a captivating writer who presents a new perspective at humanity as they slip into insanity.
A Role of Technologies in Feed and Short Story the Veldt
“Today’s teens spend more than 7.5 hours a day consuming media — watching TV, listening to music, surfing the Web, social networking, and playing video games, according to a 2010 study of 8- to 18-year-olds conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.” (Dailymail) Today we are a technology centered society. The average smart phone owner checks their phone 150 times a day. We cannot live without these innovations. It is taking over our lives and changing the way we act and think. We don’t need to do as many calculations anymore- we have calculators. We don’t need to talk as much anymore- we have texting and social media websites. We don’t need to go out and learn information as much anymore- we have google. In the year 2012 Google was searched a total of 1,873,910,000,000 times. That was an average of 5,134,000,000 searches a day. Feed by M.T. Anderson and “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury are set years into the future, where the technology we have today is nothing compared to the new innovations. In “The Veldt”, technology replaces daily life and relationships. This causes many issues with family life. In Feed almost every person has a radio chip inserted into their brain, constantly streaming all media into their thoughts. It is used for everything- watching TV, listening to music, shopping, searching for random information, and communicating with others. All the while transmitting advertisement after advertisement. Many believe this to be harmful to humans both physically and mentally. If the feed malfunctions, it can damage the host body. Human thinking has been changed with the feed constantly streaming- people don’t need to think critically anymore. The theme of both these fictional stories is the negative effect new technology will have on our society.
The protagonist in Feed, Titus, is just a regular teenager in his world. He has the feed and is dependent on it. He hangs out with his friend and parties like everyone else. Titus meets a girl named Violet. She is completely different from the kids her age. She gets the feed installed later in her life and lives with a conservative father who is trying to preserve the old languages and cultures. Violet is one of the people who believe that more technology is bad for society. One of the feed’s major goals is to create a consumer profile for everyone based on their interests and past purchases. Violet doesn’t want to be another file in the feed and so she goes out of her way to confuse it. Violet tells Titus, “What I’m doing, what I’ve been doing over the feed for the last two days, is trying to create a costumer profile that’s so screwed, no one can market to it. I’m not gong to let them catalog me. I’m going to become invisible.” (Feed 98) Violet is tring to beat the feed. This brings up a major conflict when her’s malfunctions. At the beginning of this novel, Titus and his friends meet Violet on the moon during Spring Break. They all go to hang out at a zero gravity place. They are hanging out afterwards when an old man comes running into the building screaming, “We enter a time of calamity!” (Feed 38) He touches Titus and his friends and Violet and hacks all their feeds. They all go to a hospital where Titus and his friends’ feeds are fully repaired and functional. Violet’s however, since she gets it later in her life, is permanently damaged. It is just a matter of time until she is permanently shut down. Violet is walking down the stairs months later when her body just stops working. She falls down the stairs and can’t get up. Violet tries to ask the feed for help, and the feed tells her, “We’re sorry, Violet Durn. Unfortunately, FeedTech and other investors reviewed your purchasing history, and we don’t feel that you would be a reliable investment at this time. No one could get a “handle” on your shopping habits, like for example you asking information about all those wow and brag products and then never buying anything. We have to inform you that our corporate investors were like, “What’s doing with this?” Sorry- I’m afraid you’ll just have to work with your feed the way it is.” (Feed 246) Violet’s plan to confuse the feed backfires because now when she needs help, the companies don’t listen. They don’t care about Violet because they aren’t getting money from her. This eventually leads to her demise.
“The Veldt” takes place in a futuristic society where technology is replacing many aspects of every day life. There is technology to bath people, cook dinner for them, clothe them, and even tuck them into bed and rock them to sleep. A new room is invented that you can have installed in your home called a ‘Nursery’. This room will automatically morph into whatever the residents want it to be using their imagination. George Hadley and his wife have one installed for their children Wendy and Peter. In this society, the relationship between parent and child is merely aquaintanceship. The technology has replaced parents as caregivers. The machines do everything a parent would in our society- bathing, cooking, etc.- besides disciplining them. The children grow up in an enviornment where they recieve all of their hearts desires. When somebody comes along and takes that away, there will be anger. George starts to realize that his children are getting unhealthily attatched to the nursery and decides that they need a break from all the technology and need to go on a vacation away from it all. When the children hear of this plan, they are mortified. They don’t want to leave their precious nursery behind and in fact have hatred towards their father for trying to take it away. George brings in a professional psychologist to examine the nursery. The psychologist tells George, “You’ve let this room and this house replace you an your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. And then you come along and want to shut it off. No wonder there’s hatred there.” (Veldt, 247) Wendy and Peter don’t care about their parents and quite frankly want to harm them for taking away the nursery. To no one’s surprise, the children use the nursery against their parents and George and his wife are taken out of the picture.
Feed is a satire on our society today and how we are letting technology control our lives. The radio feed is installed in peoples brains and they don’t need to do as much anymore. The main theme of this book is how new technology is bad for humans socially, physically, mentally, and even economically. In Titus’s society, people who don’t have the feed are looked down upon and people who got it later in life are considered different. Having the feed is like having the new Iphone in our culture- it’s a status symbol. People who don’t have it either are not very well off economically or they are against it for other reasons. There are some people who look at the feed as a factor in the “decline of civilization” as Violet puts it. These people are similar to our society’s “tree-huggers” or “hippies”. They believe in preserving and reviving “old” human behavior such as reading, writing, and actually communicating sophisticatedly with other humans out loud. They believe that the feed is destroying culture and causing people to be less intelligent. To a great extent, these people are right. With the feed it is no longer necessary to read or write or even talk out loud. The feed does all the thinking for you. This causes people to become more lazy, and when faced with something the feed cannot help with, they are helpless. This comes up when Titus starts to realize that Violet actually wants him to commit to her. Titus doesn’t really understand commitment becuase commitment means trying and putting in effort- something he does not know how to do. The feed has been there to do everything for him. The feed can’t help him have a relationship with Violet. Titus is lazy and doesn’t want to try. He tells Violet after rejecting her advances, “I was just thinking about going out with you, and we would have some fun for a few months… We’ve only been going out for a couple of months. And I’m supposed to act like we’re married. A couple of months. It’s not some big eternal thing. We should’ve broken up weeks ago, I would’ve, if you hadn’t been… I didn’t sign up to go out with you forever when your dead. It’s been a couple of months. Okay? A couple of months.” (Feed 271-272) Violet takes Titus to a hotel and wants to have sex with him. Titus is a lazy teenager and doesn’t want that kind of commitment, so he rejects her and then breaks up with her because she’s dying. Titus doesn’t want to have to be there for a dying girl and he doesn’t want to have to help her. He is going to let her die alone. He has been leading her on. Titus’s behavior however is influenced greatly by his society. He has never had to do anything hard before thanks to the feed and doesn’t want to have to do it now. This shows how the feed is changing civilization for the worse.
The major theme in “The Veldt” is how the technology is taking over people’s lives and relationships. People use technology for everything and don’t need to bond with other humans. Children are being brought up in an enviornment where they have technology to basically be their parents. This causes the parents and children to be merely related; they don’t feel the special attatchment most people in our world have. Everybody only cares about technology. The children in “The Veldt”, Wendy and Peter, cannot live without their machines. When their father tries to take them away, the children use the technology to kill their parents. They have no remorse. This incident only proves the theme. The kids don’t love their parents- they love technology. They have no relationship with their parents making it easy to off them with no emotion. The technology their PARENTS bought is used against them. This shows how technology is bringing society down so low that people kill when they don’t get what they want.
Both the stories themes are very similar and warn us about our own future. We have many new technologies being invented and stories like these are showing us what could happen if we get carried away. Technology could take over our lives so much that we stop caring about other human beings. This could lead to the end of relationships with others completely. This could lead to complete chaos; there would be no remorse or regret when killing others or doing anything bad because nobody cares. So much new technology could be invented that eventually we won’t need to do anything anymore. We would all become lazy and unintelligent. We wouldn’t be able to do anything without technology. This is a very scary future to think about us going through, and these stories can help us realize that we need to slow down.
Technology can be a good thing, but like everything else, moderation is key. We cannot afford to let these innovations get out of hand. We need to preserve our relationships and human communication. We need to keep learning with our own mind and not technology. We need to be careful that neither Feed nor “The Veldt” become our destiny. We need to take action and reverse instead of going forward. We cannot let technology destroy us. We can still use it to help us with certain things, but again, we need moderation. Technlogy is the key to society’s demise.
I Sing the Body Electric and the Veldt: What Do They Have in Common?
The two short stories, ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ and ‘The Veldt’ can be thought of as similar since they both apply to the same general topic: Technology- good? Or bad? However, since they both show opposing sides of the subject, they are actually very different.
Let’s start with their similarities. The main characters in these stories are part of two families: Wendy, Peter, George, Lydia, and the house make up the Hadleys; and Tom, Agatha, Tim, their father and the electric grandmother make up the other family. The main caregiver in both seems to be technology, but that seems to be the only similarities between them. The setting in both stories is futuristic, although the exact time is not specified.
Both Stories have this eerie feeling about them, as if they were both threatening to expose the opposite side of their place on the subject of technology. In ‘I sing the body electric’ the feeling of the story was mostly bright and happy. The electric grandmother, who was the main technology part of the story, didn’t seem harmful at all, but something didn’t seem quite right with her. Like in the story, when she herself, after being hit by a car says:
“…resilient creature I am, unbreakable thing I am, here I am…”
This was almost frightening, because it’s so very unnatural! Death is all part of being human, but then one has to remember how very inhuman she is, which is made clear with all the strange abilities he seems to have. Switching faces to please each person? Memorizing and recording what they say? These were all very disturbing aspects of the electric grandmother.
Another point they have in common, is the rather shocking realization that technology may render our existence unnecessary. In ‘the veldt,’ everything was done for the family through technology, as you can see in the following quote:
“…this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them…”
In the end, the people did realize that the house was bad, but just the fact that such a thing was available is troubling.
Even with these similarities, the stories are still very different. For instance, in the story ‘the veldt,’ the characters Wendy and Peter Hadley wanted their parents to die, while Agatha, Timothy and Tom were short one, and longed for a mother figure. The electric grandmother and house are also very different in comparison. The house fronted with a kind and gentle side, but had an evil undercoating. The grandmother, however always stayed kind and gentle towards the other characters. The plots were different as well. In one, a family orders an electric grandmother to fill the role of their dead mother, and in the other, a family lived in a highly technologically advanced house that did everything for them and was perfect until things went awry… The themes of both were also very different. In ‘I sing the body electric,’ the theme was on death and moving past grief, but in ‘the veldt’ it was focussed on proving the family had too much of a good thing:
“That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it?….It would be horrid.”
In the end, the two stories “I sing the body electric” and “the veldt” actually seem to be more balanced than anything. Even if there were more details of similarity than difference or vice versa it’s the importance of them that counts. I couldn’t choose one or the other of them, because an underlying theme I just can’t seem to grasp is similar between them, and yet the overall stories are so very different. In closing, I suggest you pick a side for yourself because I jut can’t seem to do so myself.
The Themes of the Advancement of Technology and Its Effects on the Psychosocial Health of People in The Veldt, a Short Story by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is an award-winning author widely known for his descriptive style of writing in American literature. Branded by careful construction of ordinary details and use of figurative language he has demonstrated a great deal of success in using symbolism in his works (New World Encyclopedia contributors).‘The Veldt’by Ray Bradbury, is a short science fiction story published in 1951. It is one among a collection of eighteen other similar short stories in the book ‘The Illustrated Man’. The story is particularly stimulating the writer uses an array of themes to address the problems that comes with overdependence of technology.
Bradbury writes about a family that lives in a technology-enhanced house. George Hadley and Lydia Hadley are Wendy and Peter’s parents. Their automated house accomplishes supernormal things like feeding and clothing its inhabitants. The troubling story begins when Lydia asks his husband whether he has noticed something unusual with the nursery. Apparently, the nursery is one of the most exclusive and exciting rooms in the entire house. Its glass walls are able to recreate scenes and sounds that are invoked by its occupants’ thoughts. When the couple visits the room, they find themselves in the middle of an African veldt and can hear the papery rustle of vultures and sound of lions savoring their prey. The sounds and images are shockingly believable that they are compelled to run out of the room.
While George wants to believe that their children are not passionate about violence and blood, Lydia is worried they could be. In any case, the room was designed to allow the kids exercise their minds with unusual fantasies and in turn provide this information to their parents. George contemplates to shut down all the electronics and lead a simple life; an idea Lydia welcomes with open arms. For a while, she felt like the house had taken up all her wifely duties.
When George goes back to the nursery a second time and tries to alter the situation, nothing changes. He is now inclined to think that his children have overridden the nursery’s response. Concerns over whether they were psychologically healthy begin to creep his mind and decides to ask them about the nursery when they arrive home from a carnival. After the kids refute knowledge of the veldt and Wendy goes into the nursery, she comes back with information that the scenery has changed.
The apparent secrecy and disobedience displayed by the two children compel George to invite a psychologist to come and establish the problem. It is established that the veldt suggests the hostile attitude the children have towards their parents. This is eventually demonstrated at the end of the story where the children lock up their parents to be eaten by the lions.
In ‘The Veldt’, family is substituted with technology. George and Lydia want the best for their children. They spend a fortune to acquire “Happylife Home”, a home meant to make the life of their children worthwhile. Indeed the house achieved the purpose for which it was meant. But it does this so well that their parents start getting the feeling that they are being phased out by technology. This is seen when David McClean says “…This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents…” (Bradbury 15). In a typical family setting, such problems would be easily rectified but the Hadley’s children would rather kill their parents that have the nursery shut down. Peter is seen shouting at his father to the top of his voice “I hate you!” when George shuts down the nursery (Bradbury 16).
It could be argued that George and Lydia are not great parents. One could also argue that technology is powerful enough to cause an addiction. Bradbury’s tale very well describes todays’ culture where we see members of the family texting using their phones over dinner. We would rather be distracted by technology than a fellow family member. According to the author of this story, the supremacy of technology spells an end to familial relationships.
Bradbury successfully manages to demonstrate how technology leads to conflict of identity in the family setup. In several instances we find George and Lydia struggling to establish their identity as parents while at the same time fighting for their personal identity. As a confession to her husband, Lydia says “I don’t know – I don’t know…Maybe I don’t have enough to do…” (Bradbury 8). Everything including giving a bath to the children is done by the house. Similarly, George feels like he has been stripped off his parenting duties and cannot establish a proper communication platform with his children. This is evidenced when George tells Lydia how their children threw tantrums upon being given slight punishments (Bradbury 8). We can deduce that he is afraid he does not have the right to punish them for any wrong doings. Their worry to find relevance underscores the natural human desire to find importance in day to day tasks and the need to feel that one is making positive impact to the society. According to Bradbury, even with advances in technology, such a basic urge does not cease.
In his story, Bradbury does a good job at using metaphors to capture the imagination of his audience. He uses his characters to describe implied conditions using metaphors. For instance, George is used to describe the virtual sun in African veldt to be “like a hot paw” (Bradbury 8). This comment is meant to spark the memory that there exist lions in African Sahara. Another instance is when George describes the lions’ eye to be “like the yellow of an exquisite French tapestry” (Bradbury 6). This remark reminds of the scenic view of lions and their beauty. In any case, the lions in this context are artificial just like tapestries. The author conveniently uses metaphors to heighten his descriptive passages and provide clear mental images that underscore the theme of danger.
The choice of words used to describe how the automated house accomplishes various tasks is important in understanding Bradbury’s use of personification in relation to his overriding theme of technology. At the onset of the story, we see the narrator words that “His wife paused in the middle of the kitchen and watched the stove busy humming to itself, making supper for four” (Bradbury 5) and “This house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them” (Bradbury 5). He is interested in showing how actions expected to be done by human assumed by technology.
The artistic element of evident throughout the story is that of point of view. The story is told from a third-person point of view. This would mean that he or she does not actively take part in the in the story. It is important to note however that the narrator is very closely aligned with the character of George Hadley. It can be seen that he does follow George in all scenes and does not depart to go and report anything happening away from George. This pattern only breaks upon George and Lydia’s demise. The narrator goes ahead to deliver the scene involving David McClean, Peter and Wendy. The author fails at in making the reader aware of each character’s thoughts and feelings as the narrator is biased. To the end of the story, the audience cannot understand what thoughts Hadley’s children have other than those voiced and captured by the nursery.
Ray Bradbury style can be described, finally as one that depends on figurative and highly descriptive language in his fictional works. The stylistic effects succeed in helping the readers construct mental images of his fictional work throughout the story. The main theme that is the advancement in technology and how it interferes with the psychological health of people is well captured. While the demise of George and Lydia might have been sad, the real pain is left for the children to fell. The lessons that be drawn from this story are relevant to the current society.
Imagery, Metaphor, And Foreshadowing In Bradbury’s ‘The Veldt’
“The Veldt ” Analysis Paper
Nowadays, technology plays an very important place. It makes people able to shop at home, keep connection with our friends easier. Long story short, people now cannot live without technology. The family in the story bought a high-technology nursery infantalized them and kill them all. Through “The Veldet”, written by Ray Brabury, the author uses foreshadowing, imagery, and metaphor to tell readers that technology is useful, but also harmful.
Through the utilize of foreshadowing, the author tells the two parents heard a scream that heard familiar, but till end they did not find out it is their scream. “ ‘ Did you hear that scream?’”(The Veldt 2) ,the wife asks her husband, but did not get an answer for yes. While the story closed to end, before they were eaten by lions, they figured out the scream is actually theirs, the two children image that they are killed by the lions. The lions were supposed to be only 3D or 4D but not be realized, the power of the technology is too strong, that make children’s dream come true, and kill the parents. Technology is not like human, they do not think, behave like a person. It makes us live easier, as in a good way in the story, we can enjoy beautiful views over the world while we do not even leave our house. Like nuclear power, it is able to produce much more electricity than fossil fuel, and it do not pollute environment a lot, however, if we make a nuclear bomb, it can cause genocide.
Also, the author uses imagery to claim the technology can let people fell fake things real, but people will not feel it. It is paralyzing people’s brain. The two parents find a old wallet of the husband, and “He showed it to her. The smell of hot grass…and there were blood smears on both sides.” (The Veldt 5). Readers all know that is impossible that it has bloody smell since no one get hurt, that is the nursery make them fell the smell, through paralyzing people’s brain and make illusion. So that we cannot tell what is right and what is wrong. In SAO, an anime, the games allows you do everything, thus some criminal, kills character in the game, and murder the player in the real life so that make him a legend. He thought the game is real life. It an anime though, but if it happened, in real life, who should people blame, the criminal or the technology?
To use metaphor to stand the author’s idea that technology elongated distance between people virtually. According to “That’s just it. I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now, and nursemaid.”(The Veldt 3), which said by the mother, the nursery had done everything that a mother should does, and even batter, faster. That makes the mother no longer belong to this house, to the family, as she have too much time to think, but nothing to do everyday. Therefore, while everything done by technology, distances between people are enlarged. People are not so closed to each like before. For example, we used to walk or ride or whatever to get to a friend’s house to visit them, but now, we have facebook, twitter, skype and of tool can make video call. It is convenient to connect them though, but always not fell as warm as people talk face to face.
By using foreshadowing, imagery, and metaphor in the short story when parents find the scream belong to them, the wallet is bloody but no one get hurt, and nursery is a better mother, the author tries to tell us like Sword of Damocles (Damocles think as with a great man of power and prestige, dithyrambs dionysius, really lucky.Dithyrambs dionysius, proposed the identity of the exchange with him one day, that he could try to head’s fate.The dinner in the evening, Damocles very enjoys the feeling of becoming king.When the end of the dinner, he looked up and did not notice the throne above only with a horsehair hanging sword.He immediately lost interest in food and handsome, and request tyrant andadministrative him, he didn’t want to get so lucky.The sword of Damocles is usually used to symbolize the legend, the representative has a strong strength is very unsafe), that technology make peace, and help, but also bring war and die. So that people have to be much more careful when we have high-technology tools, as a miss, can cause serious problem.
A Ridiculous Relationship With Technology In The Veldt, A Short Story By Ray Bradbury
In Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Veldt, he invites us to imagine a future wherein a device exists which can recreate any scene directly out of a user’s imagination completely believably. This technology is employed to keep children entertained, in appliances called nurseries.
Like many things in literature, I believe that this is not meant to be taken literally at face value, and instead Bradbury’s intent here is to satirize our relationship with the technology we create. The nursery, which can make real anything you can imagine, is designed to represent our increasing ability to utilize technology for our own ends. I believe the following quote1 gives a good impression of what I mean.
“Don’t let them do it!” wailed Peter at the ceiling, as if he was talking to the house, the nursery. “Don’t let Father kill everything.” He turned to his father. “Oh, I hate you!” “Insults won’t get you anywhere.” “I wish you were dead!” “We were, for a long while. Now we’re going to really start living. Instead of being handled and massaged, we’re going to live.” Wendy was still crying and Peter joined her again. “Just a moment, just one moment, just another moment of nursery,” they wailed. “Oh, George,” said the wife, “it can’t hurt.” “All right – all right, if they’ll just shut up. One minute, mind you, and then off forever.” “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” sang the children, smiling with wet faces. “And then we’re going on a vacation. David McClean is coming back in half an hour to help us move out and get to the airport. I’m going to dress. You turn the nursery on for a minute, Lydia, just a minute, mind you.”
Peter says “I wish you were dead” and his father thinks little of it, the not atypical outburst of a stubborn and indignant child. Unfortunately for Peter his house is equipped with a device designed to extract and amplify these thought’s directly from Peter’s head and make them real. In “ordinary” life the father would be protected from his child’s deadly impulses by a difference in force. The child is very likely incapable of killing his father. But with the advent of technology, “the nursery” has inadvertently given the child this power.
This is a very important quote in this it work because I believe it reveals the message Bradbury is trying to impart. The child in this story is not meant to be interpreted literally, but as a metaphor for ourselves, and our foolish destructive tendencies. He fears that we may develop powerful technology without understanding or respect for the danger that this power could pose to ourselves.
There is an additional layer here, which is that our supposed better nature, the adults in this metaphor, are unable to resist the temptation to satisfy the children. They give in, “just for a minute” the father says, but it is a minute too late. The foolish children have put their plan in motion, metaphorically our worse nature had got the better of us.
It is interesting to note that this story was published in 1950, as the Cold War began to pick up steam between the US and Russia, and the nuclear question was on everybody’s mind. Perhaps, and I think this is likely, the metaphor here can apply to Bradbury’s thoughts on the situation we found ourselves in at that time. Where our technology had advanced to the point where world powers could totally annihilate each other a thousand times over, but our basic human nature remained comparatively primitive and quick to take impulsive action, or to borrow from Bradbury’s metaphor: childish.
I think this nuclear spectre had an influence on Bradbury, though perhaps he did not intend to relate this story to that issue directly, I think that it had an effect. It is hard for us today to imagine what it would have been like to live under the constant and credible threat of total societal collapse at any moment. To quote the late Carl Sagan, “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five. And we’re all stuck in the room with them.” Anyone coming of age in such an environment would find it difficult not to be influenced by the fear this would create.
The central take-away should be this: Bradbury wants us to have respect and thoughtfulness for the technologies we create, and to be aware of and trepidation in regard to the power that technology brings us.