What instances of foreshadowing are there in "The Veldt"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "The Veldt," there are numerous hints that the children will ultimately use the room to murder their parents. At first these clues seem mysterious and frightening to readers, and gradually their direction becomes more and more obvious.

The first few instances of foreshadowing set the general mood. The parents enter the nursery, and the lions attempt to attack them. When the parents discuss closing the nursery for awhile, George remarks that "they [the children] live for the nursery." In other words, they have become obsessed with it. Later, as George ponders the situation alone, he is concerned that in the African landscape the children are fixating on death.

George goes into the nursery again, and he finds that he cannot change the settings, even though he should be able to with his mind. He becomes worried that it might be broken. When the children return from an outing, they lie about the African nursery setting, and Wendy goes to change it to back up their deception. In the landscape she has changed it to, though, George finds the first physical clue: an old wallet of his with bloodstains on it. By this point, Bradbury has become more definite about the danger the parents are in.

Upstairs while trying to sleep, George and Lydia hear "two people screaming from downstairs," and then they hear "a roar of lions." The screams "sound familiar," and readers realize that the children are simulating their parents' deaths. George hints to Peter that he might close up the nursery, and Peter threatens that he had better not.

When the psychologist and George approach the nursery, there are more screams and another simulated death. The psychologist warns that the children's hatred has taken over the room, the room having supplanted their parents, and that George had better shut it down for good. On their way out, they find the second physical clue, a bloody scarf that belongs to Lydia. Soon afterwards, the children lock their parents in the nursery, and the lions attack.

We see, then, that Bradbury uses numerous instances of foreshadowing in this gripping story.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on