The Veldt by Ray Bradbury is set in the future and is about a family in mars who purchased a 30 000$ house, Happylife Home, this hi-tech home cooks, cleans and rocks the family to sleep. In the Happylife home there is a nursery which is forty feet across by forty feet long and thirty feet high. In this nursery all their thoughts come to life. One day the mother, Lydia Hadley, discovered that the children were using the nursery to recreate a veldt in Africa. The father, George Hadley, thought the African veldt was too violent and wanted to take a vacation. When George told his children that he was going to shut the room they cried and threatened the father by saying: “I wish you were dead”. Mr and Mrs Hadley even brought a psychologist, Mr McClean, to see whether their children’s thoughts were normal. They even tried to change the room to something else but the children had reprogrammed the nursery and only they could change the “illusion”. The children, Wendy and peter, lured their parents to the nursery and shut the door and the lions in the veldt killed and ate their parents.
This story shows that technology can’t replace a parent’s love and care. In “The Veldt” HHH the Happylife home replaces their mother. When Lydia Hadley says: “The house is wife and mother now and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African Veldt?” (L.93)
We get a feeling that the mother is annoyed because she has a feeling that the nursery has replaced her in her children’s lives. The parents made a big mistake by making this room the mother and father of their children, and this made the nursery far more important in their lives than their real parents. When the parents came and wanted to shut it off. No wonder the children became enraged. We see that the children’s primary relationship is with 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 characteristic.
These children are so spoiled that they don’t even brush their teeth by themselves. Peter says: “That (turning the house off) sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?” (L.256).This house had turned these children in to stubborn and hard-headed people and the nursery was a “channel” (L.301) for their destructive thoughts. I think that the nursery is an allusion to a television set. For example, when the author say words like “channel” and in line 287 George Hadley asks the psychologist if he can see the lions closer if he uses binoculars and the Mr. McClean answers “Hardly”. This statement proves that the nursery is like a T.V screen where if an object is small looking through binoculars won’t help you see it better.
This story shows that replacing a parent’s affection and time with technology can eventually destroy a family, even in the future. The author Ray Bradbury makes this story seem real by using generic people as characters, and though out the story Bradbury asks the question: “What are the things that children need from their parents that money can’t buy?”