The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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How are George and Lydia shown to have failed their children in "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury?

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As he talks to Lydia about the supposed neuroses of their children, George observes:

Who was it said, "Children are carpets, they should be stepped on
occasionally"? We’ve never lifted a hand. They’re insufferable – let’s admit it. They come and go when they like; they treat us as if we were offspring. They’re spoiled and we’re spoiled.

The irony is that, having accurately diagnosed the problem, George immediately decides to consult David McClean, the psychologist, about Wendy and Peter's morbid obsessions. McClean confirms George's opinion, but his very presence is part of the problem. Instead of taking responsibility for their children's upbringing, George and Lydia have outsourced their parental duties to experts and machines. They are so distant from their children that they have scarcely noticed Wendy and Peter behaving with a cold, sociopathic distaste for their parents which is far more sinister than usual childhood rebellion.

David McClean observes that George and Lydia...

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