The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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How does Bradbury show us what the relationship is like between Wendy and Peter and the Hadley family in "The Veldt"?

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Bradbury shows us the lack of real communication and connection in the husband and wife’s relationship by demonstrating how they react to the change in the nursery, and how they interact with each other.

At the beginning of the story, Lydia is concerned about the nursery.  She says that it is changed, but she is not sure what to do.  She wants her husband, George, to look at it and perhaps she will hire a psychologist.  It’s a strange reaction to an even stranger situation—when your nursery gets out of control.

While Lydia is disturbed, George is fascinated.  She can’t believe that nature has invaded the sanctuary of her nursery, and Geroge just admires the technology.  He is not even aware that she is disturbed.

The lions were coming. And again George Hadley was filled with admiration for the mechanical genius who had conceived this room. A miracle of efficiency selling for an absurdly low price. Every home should have one.

Their polar opposite reactions show how they are on two separate pages.  Lydia wants everything to be perfect, and wants the nursery to be a gentle haven. She naturally does not want vultures and animals hunting in there.  George just thinks it’s cool.

George is disconnected from his wife as well.  When she is scared by the all-too-real Africa scene, he barely notices and just cursorily soothes her.

"I'm afraid." She came to him and put her body against him and cried steadily. "Did you see? Did you feel? It's too real."

"Now, Lydia..."

She tells him to tell Wendy and Peter to stop reading about Africa.  She is disturbed to see it come to life.  She is not actually engaging with the events, or with her children.  She is just foisting it off on him. 

Lydia's concerns are not just that the nursery scene is too real. She feels disconnected because the house has taken control.  It babysits her kids.  It cooks her husband’s eggs.  Her children throw a tantrum when they can’t go in the nursery.  The house does everything, and the people are second to it.

The nursery is an extension of the children's minds.  The parents do not realize that.  They are not aware that they have spoiled the children to the point of murder.  The children think nothing of feeding mom and dad to the lions, and the parents never saw it coming.  They did not see the veldt for what it was- a warning.

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