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Veldt And Dying Essay

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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On the most basic level, “The Veldt” is about a family going through the typical problems that arise in family life. George and Lydia are parents who spoil their children, and then try to discipline them by taking away the toys they originally spoiled them with. In response, Wendy and Peter begin to hate their parents. The difference between the Hadleys and a real family is that the Hadley children’s toys are much more powerful than the toys that children usually play with. Eventually, the children’s hatred ends in a rebellion and their parents’ death. Bradbury’s story is a study in how technology disrupts normal family relations.

George and Lydia want the best for their children. So they purchase the Happylife Home, a home designed to make Peter and Wendy happy and fulfilled. Indeed, it does its job, but it does that job too well. George and Lydia become concerned about their role as parents in the Happylife Home; they feel as if they’re being phased out by their technology. As David McClean says, they have let the Happylife Home become more important to the children than their own parents.In a normal household, parents in this situation might be able to fix their family troubles. But in this case, Peter and Wendy are so obsessed with the nursery that they would rather kill their parents than part with it. Their new reality far surpasses a reality in which their dreams never come true. And the technology is so powerful that George and Lydia can’t compete with it. You can confiscate a video game, but not the nursery: it will find a way to get rid of you.

Perhaps George and Lydia are bad parents. On the other hand, perhaps consumer technology is just too powerful and addictive. Bradbury’s story might as well describe today’s culture, in which children and parents alike watch TV during dinner, text message during conversations, and are constantly distracted by their technology. One would rather be in front of a screen than another human being.

To Bradbury, the power of technology spells the end of family, and the end of meaningful human relations. If everyone has a nursery to create his or her own world, there may no longer be any need to have real conversations, to foster real relationships, with real people, in the shared, real world. In portraying the destruction of the Hadley family, Bradbury is voicing a fear that the consumerist world we are building will result in the destruction of the very idea of family and all of the values—love, respect, loyalty, companionship—that make possible our humanity.

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