What explanations can you give for the father's wallet and the mother's scarf being in the nursery in "The Veldt"?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury, there is a nursery that creates a virtual reality--interestingly, since Bradbury's idea preceded the creation of this technological fact nowadays.  This reality of the nursery is controlled by the thoughts of those inside it;  it is "superreactionary, supersensitive color film and mental tape film behind glass screens."

On two separte entries into the nursery, George experiences the Africa reality; when he goes in alone, he finds an "old wallet" which he shows to Lydia.  On his second visit, he and David McClean discover the "bloody scarf" that George tells the psychologist belongs to Lydia.  Since the wallet has traces of saliva on it when George retrieves it, it seems that a lion has licked or chewed lightly on it, salivating at the scent of the man.  The bloody scarf suggests that the hateful thoughts of the children have gone further.  These items have probably been stolen from George and Lydia's bedroom and brought into the nursery by the children in order to perpetuate the reality of their hatred onto the "superreactionary, supersensitive" environment of the virtual reality of the veldt where thoughts exert control.  Having conditioned Africa sufficiently, the entry of George and Lydia after the children beckon them realizes the hatred of the children who have wished them dead.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Ray Bradbury does not actually come out and tell us this, so it is sort of hard to know, isn't it.  So we have to guess.

I believe that the kids, Peter and Wendy, have put the stuff in there.  I think that they have done that to try to get the lions used to the scent of the parents.  I think, even, that they have been teaching the lions to attack the parents.

I can't think of any other reason that stuff would be in there.  I'm pretty sure that the kids were putting the lions up to killing their parents.

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The children had obviously taken the scarf and the wallet, probably from their parents' bedroom, and put them in the nursery so the lions could get the parents' scent. All during the story, the children are trying and eventually succeed in gaining control of the nursery because they had become so dependent upon the house that they were terrified the parents would turn off the house. That would mean the children would have to do things for themselves, like "tie their own shoes" and "brush their own teeth." The house's survival became more important than their parents and the children are willing to do anything to protect it.

Sources:
zarlish's profile pic

zarlish | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

i dont get wut u mean by foeshawdoing?????????????the reason for this is cuz i need 2 exapmles of forehawdoing from the story and need to no y they r signifient

mrymeski's profile pic

mrymeski | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In response to this teachers answer bellow, the scarf and wallet are actually George and Lydia's in the virtual reality of the nursery. The reason why the voices eminating from the nursery sound so "familiar" at night is because the children are simulating their parents deaths over and over again. Every time George tries to see what the lions he cannot because they are too far away but by the end of the story we discover that the lions are actually consuming his virtual body in the simulation, that is where the scarf and wallet come from.

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