In "The Veldt," how do the parents' awareness of what is going on in the playroom create tension in the story?  

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the story's beginning when Lydia mentions her concerns to her husband George about the children's nursery, Bradbury creates tension between George and Lydia.  George believes that the nursery and what the children do in there is harmless--he marvels at the technology of the room and finds the children's obsession with the African grasslands rather humorous.  On the other hand, Lydia wants George to see the room from her perspective.  She feels that she cannot compete with the nursery for her children's affection and attention and feels inadequate.  Her husband does not appreciate her concerns or her insecurities; there is a disconnect. This tension between the parents causes a delay in their actually doing something about Peter and Wendy before it's too late.

Later in the story when George and Lydia finally do decide to have the children's psychologist look into the situation, Bradbury builds suspense and tension by putting the children more and more in control of the adults.  George begins inspecting the nursery, but it causes him to realize just how out of control the situation has become.  Wendy won't listen to him when he tells her to come back; he has to lock the nursery because the children won't obey Lydia and him when they tell the children not to go in the room, and the children play mind games with their parents as to what's actually "imagined" in the nursery.

As George and Lydia become more aware of the danger; so does the reader and the realization that the children are so far gone, that there is no hope of saving the parents from Peter and Wendy's intentions.