The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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What are the two similes Bradbury uses to describe Peter's and Wendy's physical traits? What is ironic about these choices of similes in "The Veldt"?

In "The Veldt," two similes Bradbury uses to describe Peter and Wendy's physical traits are "cheeks like peppermint candy, eyes like bright blue agate marbles." These similes are ironic because they create images of old-fashioned childhood innocence. However, Peter and Wendy have shed childlike innocence and become hardened individuals capable of murdering their parents.

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A simile is a comparison of two unalike things in which the word like or as is used. When Wendy and Peter arrive at home from the carnival they'd been visiting, the narrator says that they were "coming in the front door, cheeks like peppermint candy, eyes like bright blue agate marbles." Irony is created when what we expect to happen is different from what actually does happen.

In this story, the similes used to describe Peter and Wendy make them seem incredibly innocent and childlike. They don't even want dinner because they are full of strawberry ice cream and hot dogs: more signs of their innocence....

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jcphelps76 | Student

Bradbury describes Peter and Wendy as having "cheeks like peppermint candy, eyes like bright blue agate marbles." 

Peter and Wendy merely looked like sweet, adorable little children. Behind the similes of peppermint candy cheeks and bright blue eyes lurked a horror story -- steeped in irony -- playing itself out in virtual reality. "Looks can be deceiving," and "Don't judge a book by its cover," are some adages that help examine the irony of the similes. 

As parents tend to do, these parents believed what they could see: beautiful little children. They were deceived by the innocent appearances; and, even though the father entertained suspicious thoughts, he brushed them aside.

The angelic-looking children, obsessed by death and killing, eventually manage to lure their parents into the African veldt in the nursery one last time. Simile and irony come together in the children as they act out their final, happy but unnatural vengeance.

Although you didn't ask, I see irony in the children's names because they were total opposites of Peter and Wendy in "Peter Pan."