The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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How does the setting in The Veldt fit the description of dystopian?

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When it came to the intersections of technology, convenience, and entertainment, Bradbury was often rather ambivalent. This can be seen in many of his stories, most notably Fahrenheit 451 , in which reality television has largely taken the place of reading, talking, and critical thinking. From Bradbury's perspective, technology wasn't entirely without value, but it had the strong potential to replace the human connections that...

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A dystopian society is a futuristic world in which an attempt to make the perfect society, or utopia, has gone horribly wrong or has had unintended or unforeseen negative consequences. The citizens of a dystopia are under some type of control, whether governmental, technological, philosophical, or corporate, and there is usually a fraction of society that is segregated or discriminated against.

In Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt," we see a society not too different than our own today, despite Bradbury writing this piece in the 50s. In Bradbury's story, society values technological advancement and using technology to alleviate our problems and mundane daily tasks. In their attempt to be a perfect society in which no person has to do chores, drive, or even use their imagination, the society has attempted to build a utopia through technology. However, the reliance on this technology has resulted in a crisis of humanity for some, like the mother, who question their role in this society, are bored and restless, and feel as though they have no purpose.

As those charged with parenting their children, both George and Lydia must now question their place in the world, particularly in relationship with their children. They have outsourced the parenting work to the nursery and have lost their place of respect and authority in the process. Because technology is the most important and valued "member" of this society, regular human beings like the parents are devalued and, in turn, treated with hostility by their children who are "one" with the technology.

The nursery is purported to be a great technological advancement that not only provides childcare and entertainment, but that also provides psychological insight into the minds of children. While that sounds great in theory, what the parents, psychologist, and society do not anticipate is the way in which it would become a part of the children's lives, the way it would become a "parent" to the children, and the ability for the children's thoughts and desires to become reality.

Overall, in the society's desire to be perfect, every person came under the control of technology. While that may not seem possible or like it would have many negative consequences, it begs humans to answer the question, "What is my role in this world with technology?"

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