What aspects of contemporary family life do the “Happylife Home” and the nursery satirize? What exactly have the Hadleys “purchased” for their $30,000 (plus $15,000 extra for the nursery)?...

What aspects of contemporary family life do the “Happylife Home” and the nursery satirize? What exactly have the Hadleys “purchased” for their $30,000 (plus $15,000 extra for the nursery)? What do the amenities of the “Happylife Home” offer them?

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mdelmuro | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The Happylife Home and nursery in "The Veldt" satirize the inventions of the early 20th Century that made life more convenient for many Americans and the rise of television, which became a regular household item about the time the story was published in 1950. 

It's important to look at the history surrounding the writing and publication of "The Veldt." The early 20th Century saw a boom in the creation of items that made life in America easier. Automobiles, radios, televisions, escalators, air conditioning, refrigerators, and electric washing machines were all invented in the decades before Ray Bradbury wrote this story. 

In "The Veldt," Bradbury takes the convenience created in this part of the century and extrapolates what might happen in the near future. This is how the Happylife Home and nursery are created. The family has become completely dependent on the home. When George suggests they shut off the house entirely, Lydia, the wife, says the following:

"[Y]ou'll have to change your life. Like too many others, you've built it around creature comforts. Why, you'd starve tomorrow if something went wrong in the kitchen. You wouldn't know how to tap an egg."

This dependence on household items has continued today. Cell phones, computers and cable television have becomes items originally created for convenience into things that have become crutches for people. Removing these items from peoples' hands can be a traumatic experience. This is why "The Veldt" remains relevant today.

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