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Critical Analysis Of "The Veldt"

1652 words - 7 pages

“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury deals with some of the same fundamental problems that we are now encountering in this modern day and age, such as the breakdown of family relationships due to technology. Ray Bradbury is an American writer who lived from 1920 to 2012 (Paradowski). Written in 1950, “The Veldt” is even more relevant to today than it was then. The fundamental issue, as Marcelene Cox said, “Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves.” Technology creating dysfunctional families is an ever increasing problem. In the story, the Hadley family lives in a house that is entirely composed of machines. A major facet of the house is the nursery, where the childrens’ imagination becomes a land they can play in. When the parents become worried about their childrens’ violent imagination, as shown with their fascination with the African veldt, the children kill them to prevent them from turning it off. Ray Bradbury develops his theme that technology can break up families in his short story "The Veldt" through the use of foreshadowing, symbolism, and metaphor.
Foreshadowing is a fundamental element in “The Veldt.” A good example of foreshadowing is the veldt itself and the voracious animals inside it. “The nursery was silent. It was as empty as a jungle glade at hot high noon. ‘Did you hear that scream?’ she asked. ‘No’ ‘About a minute ago.’ ‘Sorry, no.’” (Bradbury). This is the first instance of foreshadowing in the story that predicts the event where the parents themselves will soon be screaming, meaning they will die. “Moreover, his (Ray Bradbury’s) description of the veldt also conveys an atmosphere of menace and hostility mirroring the psychological state of the Hadley family.” (Bernardo). Directly after they heard the scream, the Hadley adults run away from lions, also predicting their eventual death. “The lions stood looking at George and Lydia Hadley with terrible green-yellow eyes. "Watch out!" screamed Lydia. The lions came running at them. Lydia bolted and ran. Instinctively, George sprang after her. Outside, in the hall, with the door slammed he was laughing and she was crying, and they both stood appalled at the other's reaction.” (Bradbury). George’s musings about his childrens’ view of death was actually a foreshadowing of his own death, “They were awfully young, Wendy and Peter, for death thoughts. Or, no, you were never too young, really. Long before you knew what death was you were wishing it on someone else. When you were two years old you were shooting people with cap pistols. But this - the long, hot African veldt-the awful death in the jaws of a lion. And repeated again and again.” (Bradbury). Finally, the childrens’ rebellion, which resulted in their parents’ death, was foreshadowed when Peter threatened his own father to never turn off the technology. "I...

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