How does technology, as a theme, influence "The Veldt"?

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caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several of Bradbury's works include themes relating to technology, and a surface-level analysis might portray him and his themes as ascetic or having Luddite tones, because technology is typically depicted in a negative light. Even in personal interviews, Bradbury has spoken against technology in a way which only seems to support a direct interpretation of its thematic treatment in his stories. However, a more nuanced view would articulate that Bradbury doesn't target technology itself, but the use of technology as a substitute for human interaction and an excuse for apathy. In "The Veldt", this theme is compounded by the message that technology can actually supplant love and morality in the undeveloped minds of children, leading to horrors that we would normally attribute only to sociopaths.

George and Lydia seem to generally agree, from the start of the story, that the house has outdone itself, and rather than being a pleasant way of freeing up their time, it has robbed them of the comfort they found in caring for each other or doing mundane chores; they feel unnecessary. This is compounded when they consult McClean, who states,

You've let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children's affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents.

It is suggested that it's normal, at some point in their development, for children to develop murderous thoughts about their parents, but until the invention of something like the nursery, children would not have been able to manifest it so clearly or so incessantly. Technology has corrupted and infantilized them. 

Finally, the Hadley's death by lions, which are supposed to be illusory and incapable of such a thing, suggests that the house and its technology has somehow transcended its own imposed limitations; the house has become almost magical or godlike, implying that technology of sufficient power cannot be fully controlled.