The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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After reading the veldt, do you think the writer's values and world views affected the story? How? Can the writer's story tell you anything about his values and worldviews? Can/should an appreciation of the writer's values and worldviews influence your interpretation of the story?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I do think that Bradbury's world views impacted the development of the story.  It is evident that Bradbury believes that the modern era features two elements that have to be navigated.  The first is the presence of technology.  At the time of the story, the growth of nuclear technology on a political level and the emergence of television on a domestic one helped to transform the way individuals viewed the world, themselves, and their interactions with both.  It is evident that Bradbury sees this world view as something that has the potential for destructive tendencies, as seen in the story with the children and their dependence on their new caregiver.  Another world view evident is how the technology will transform our emotional sensibilities.  Bradbury believes that one of the challenging elements of technological advancement is that it will inevitably change our emotional frame of reference.  What was once taken as absolute and unchanging will be altered dramatically.  One such element is the way in which children and parents relate to one another, as seen in the story when the children engineer the deaths of their own parents.  For Bradbury these elements of his world view find their way into the story.

Part of Bradbury's embrace of science fiction is that it enabled him to write about what he saw happening in modern setting from a perspective that afforded him the ability to critique it.  This is part of his own story that impacts his world view.  Science fiction was not something about aliens and other worlds for Bradbury.  Science fiction is about our world.  In Bradury's stories, the settings of another world are reflective about our own.  "The Veldt" falls into this condition.  The children and the parents are not in another world.  They are in our own and this impacts not only Bradbury's writing, but defines good writing.  Effective writing is going to critique and comment on the modern setting through the writer's frame of reference.  The writer's world views ensure their voice and the ability to draw upon their own world views helps to enhance the quality and meaning of the literature they create.  Objectivity is not as important as being able to articulate the subjective world views of the author and integrate them into a meaningful comment about the world and our place within it.

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