What is the initial incident in "The Veldt"?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt" follows the story of George and Lydia Hadley and their ultra-modern house, a "Happylife Home" which contains a nursery for their children, Wendy and Peter, that seems to provide a virtual reality experience based upon the occupants' thoughts. The first "incident" of the story involves Lydia fretting over the contents of the nursery and how much time the children have spent in it recently.

Lydia and George venture into the nursery, only to discover that it has been transformed into a life-like African veldt, complete with lions who have just killed and devoured a baby animal. The lions charge at Lydia and George, and the couple rush out of the room; Lydia is terrified, but George finds it comical. At Lydia's request, George agrees to lock the nursery for a few days while her nerves are "settled." 

This incident foreshadows the climax of the book, in which George and Lydia are locked in the nursery by their children and devoured by lions as punishment for their "restrictive" parenting. 

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The initial incident occurs when Lydia (the mother in the story) first voices her concerns to her husband George about their children's spending so much time in the interactive nursery. The conversation not only foreshadows that something significant might happen in the nursery; it also sheds light on the reversal of roles between parent and child that is beginning the family and on George's tendency to disregard his wife's opinion.