The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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What is the role of technology in "The Veldt"? What is it doing to the family?

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Technology plays a prominent role in the Hadley household and has completely consumed their entire family. George and Lydia Hadley purchased a technologically advanced Happylife Home, which is completely automated and mechanically performs seemingly every task needed to maintain a residence. The automated smart home cooks, cleans, and entertains the family, and the technologically advanced nursery fascinates the children, who spend the majority of their leisure time enjoying the interactive, simulated walls that display anything they can image. Despite making the family's life significantly easier, technology has created a void between the parents and children.

The family has become completely reliant on technology, and the Hadley children no longer view George and Lydia as their parents. Both Peter and Wendy have developed into entitled, disobedient children who begin to plan their parents' demise. They conjure the image of the threatening African veldt onto the nursery's walls and wish that their parents would die. George and Lydia acknowledge that they've become over-reliant on technology and attempt to turn the house off. However, Peter and Wendy refuse to allow George and Lydia to dictate their lives, and they lock their parents inside the African veldt. Overall, Bradbury explores family dynamics in a futuristic, technology-driven world and illustrates how families have become over-reliant on technology.

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gthornton16 | Student

As with many of Bradford's works, "The Veldt" paints a picture of a dystopian society in which technology overpowers the lives of people. In "The Veldt," the Happylife home completes all tasks for the Hadley family. From rocking the family to sleep at night, rocking them when they're upset, doing the cooking, cleaning, and answering requests at dinner, the home essentially makes the roles of its inhabitants obsolete.

The parents of the home built a nursery for their children to play in. The nursery is technology based and functions by portraying the thoughts of the child onto the wall. We later learn that the psychologist was supportive of the nursery being built with the hopes of being able to study the technological patterns of the walls to better support the children. This, ultimately, backfires; and, the children begin to see the nursery as their parents rather than the humans that created them.

Eventually, the mother, Lydia, begins to sense that the home has replaced her role as mother. In the below quotation, we see her begging her husband to put the technology in the home asleep:

“That’s just it. I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now, and nurse for the children. Can I compete with an African veldt? Can I give a bath and clean the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic body wash can? I cannot. And it isn’t just me. It’s you. You’ve been awfully nervous lately.”

This request is in vein. Because the Hadleys have been reliant on the technology so long, the children cannot bear the thought of being separated from their technological parent (the nursery) and orchestrate the murder of their biological parents through the use of the nursery. The reader learns at the end that the noises the parents heard from the nursery throughout the story was their own deaths.