What is the setting of the nursery in the short story "The Veldt," which is part of the The Illustrated Man?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury, the nursery is a children’s playroom located in a fully automated “Happylife Home.” The children, Wendy and Peter, can conjure up the setting within the room. The room itself measures “forty feet across by forty feet long and thirty feet high.” For most of the story, the room is a veldt, or a vast, sandy African desert. The veldt is reproduced in stunning detail with the appropriate smells, due to “odorophonics,” and the hot sun beating down from a blue sky that is the ceiling. The lions, antelope, and vultures are life-like in their actions. Even when the door is closed people outside it can hear screams within the room. At one point, when the parents question the children about the veldt, they conjure up a deep forest instead, but that setting only lasts a few minutes as the children mentally return the room to the vast, dangerous desert that they choose.

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