How does Bradbury create and maintain suspense in "The Veldt"?

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An author has effectively created suspense when the reader feels compelled to keep reading to see what happens. Bradbury creates suspense and hints at danger in the first few lines of the story by letting the reader know that there is a problem with the children's nursery. The wife mentions...

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An author has effectively created suspense when the reader feels compelled to keep reading to see what happens. Bradbury creates suspense and hints at danger in the first few lines of the story by letting the reader know that there is a problem with the children's nursery. The wife mentions the possibility of a psychologist examining the nursery, which causes the reader to question the necessity of her request. Why would a psychologist need to visit a room? When George and Lydia visit the nursery and see that the lions have been eating, George assumes the lions must have eaten an animal. Lydia, however, responds with, "Are you sure?" Her question creates more suspense because the reader again must question why she feels the way she does. Bradbury provides more clues that something dangerous or frightening will happen. For example, George sees the door of the nursery shake as if something hits it from inside, he hears screams from the nursery, and inside he finds an old wallet of his and a scarf belonging to his wife. Both the wallet and the scarf are bloody. Finally, when the psychologist sees the room, he says, "This is very bad." These hints of something terrible create suspense and encourage the reader to keep reading.

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Bradbury uses imagery and foreshadowing to create and maintain suspense in this short story. The story constantly brings us back, through the eyes of the increasingly anxious parents, to the ominous veldt that the children watch obsessively in the nursery. The veldt is described using unpleasant images that make the parents and, hence the reader, uneasy: it's very hot under a blazing sun, vultures circle, and lions prowl. At one point, the lions seem to lunge at the parents, causing them to run frightened from the nursery. At other points, the parents hear screams, as if the lions are eating humans. As time goes on, hints that the veldt is a threat to the parents magnify: the Hadleys find Mr. Hadley's chewed wallet, complete with saliva and bloodstains, on the nursery floor, as well as Mrs. Hadley's bloody scarf. All of these ominous happenings hint at or foreshadow that the lions will eat the Hadley parents. This raises our suspense: are the parents irrational or reasonable in their fears? Can lions in a televised program actually destroy real humans? Will the Hadley parents actually be murdered in the nursery, as all the hints indicate? Or can get they get away?

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