Critical Analysis Of Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt
Ray Bradbury, the American writer who has written many novels, stories, poetry, and even screenplays. He was known for expressing human values of society through science fiction and fantasy stories. Bradbury was born in the year 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. From a young age Bradbury continuedly went to the library and went on to submitting his own stories to national publishers. At age 20, Bradbury was able to sell his first story, “It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Hu.” With no funds to go to college, Bradbury educated himself by reading books from the library. Around the time of World War II, he wrote more short stories that were published in magazines. 3 of those stories became ‘The Best American Short stories for 1946.’ A year later he married his wife Maggie McClure. Bradbury was then able to gain help from experts Johnathan Eller and William Touponce. These experts helped produce many stories and even a theater for films. He continued writing until 1999, due to health problems. However, that did not stop his from sharing ideas. He would often tell stories to his daughter on the phone. In 2012, Bradbury died at the age of 91. Most of Bradbury’s stories have a theme of how humans while abuse technology for their advantage. This idea was brought about when the country was relieving nuclear threats during the Cold War. Bradbury wrote hundreds of impacting stories for millions to read.
‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury is a short story of a typical family who becomes overtaken by this gothic house filled with high tech machines. This story is one of the many examples of how Bradbury disapproves the use of technology, and how it can overtake us if we let it. Bradbury saw how these machines were destroying the human brain and turning the brain to think about horrid thoughts. These thoughts began in ‘The Veldt’ with the children of George and Lydia who lived in the ‘Happy life Home’ (Hart).
The home that would help them become stress free. With a future depending on technology, conflict is bound to happen. Just as the Hadley’s suspected trouble from the nursery. George was determined to buy whatever to bring happiness to his children. A room that showed whatever was on the children’s mind was a necessary machine. An idea Bradbury produced before anyone else. However, George and Lydia became concerned about what showed on the nursery walls. The walls filled with an African theme while lions lured, and vultures circled. Both were a symbol of death, which filled the room. The reality of the lions had George and Lydia question how real the nursery is. The children then became independent from their parents and more dependent on the machines. George begins feeling less needed and unable to control his children. With an attempt to shut down the nursery, George failed when the children cried and screamed and eventually broke in. Even with the threat of shutting it down, the children’s thoughts were still of Africa. The idea of death replayed in Peter and Wendy’s mind daily, which feared Lydia very much. With feeling just as useless as George, Lydia began to grow more and more paranoid about the situation. With conflict between the house and family, George decided to shut down the house go on vacation. George bought this house with hope of a happier and grateful life. However, the children become slothful because of their dependence on the technology, causing nothing but hostility in the home. George and Lydia continue to question the children’s obsession of the death in Africa. After consulting the psychologist, the parents learn that the children have absorbed negative ideas because of the nursery.
After everything George and Lydia have done to create the happiest life, the only thing they created was bitterness inside of their kids. The psychologist suggested shutting down the house, with hope to reverse the ideas that were filled into the children. The children see that they have everything they need and the only thing stopping them are their parents. But as George goes one to shut down the house, he allows the children to have one more visit to the nursery. With the nursery back on, the children have gained control. Enough control to lock their parents in the nursery for the lions feed on. They were gaining control and eliminating the two people who wanted best for them. The sickening house corrupted the children’s mind towards evil. But when their parent was gone, they became calm as if they were adults themselves. At such a young age Peter and Wendy became consumed by time because of their obsessive need for technology. Without even knowing George and Lydia’s time and mind was overtaken. But the short story was left off without the reader knowing if the children faced consciences or if they were ever caught.
All ideas the reader wonders about can only be answered throughout time as technology has already slowly overtaken us in today’s world. The need for wanting more was not what the Handley’s needed, the message Bradbury wanted everyone to see.
- Bradbury, Raymond. ‘The Veldt.’ The Illustrated Man, edited by John Morris, Brave New World Publications, 1960.
- ‘Ray Bradbury.’ Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Jeffrey W. Hunter, vol. 333, Gale, 2013. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/H1100120000/GLS?u=lincclin_nfcc&sid=GLS&xid=359531cb Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.
- Hart, Joyce. ‘Critical Essay on ‘The Veldt’.’ Short Stories for Students, edited by Ira Mark Milne, vol. 20, Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/H1420059367/GLS?u=lincclin_nfcc&sid=GLS&xid=ccd533cc Accessed 4 Feb. 2019.
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