What type of parents were the Hadleys? Cite two examples from the story to support your conclusion.

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Technology may be the focal point of interest in the story, but the Hadleys are extremely significant in terms of the human interest angle.

In "The Veldt," Bradbury explores the ramifications of technological progress and its impact on humans. Both Lydia and George are marginalized by the technology they venerate: as the story progresses, they evolve from being the masters of their Happylife Home to being its abject slaves.

So, what type of parents are the Hadleys? The answer will depend on your beliefs about the domestic sphere. For example, how responsible are parents for the well-being and happiness of their children? Also, what role does parental guidance play in the happiness of children?

In the story, George and Lydia have lost their place as the authority figures in their home. Essentially, they are lulled into a false sense of security by the technology they trust. As time progresses, they become largely irrelevant to their children. Instead of communicating and interacting with Wendy and Peter, George and Lydia stop engaging with their children. They rely on their Happylife Home to perform the seemingly monotonous tasks of parenthood. As a result, Lydia and George are deeply unhappy.

“But I thought that’s why we bought this house, so we wouldn’t have to do anything?”

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

Bradbury makes an important point in the story: George and Lydia cannot retain their relevance in their children's lives by abdicating their parental responsibilities.

However monotonous these responsibilities are, they are a vehicle for healthy engagement with their children. George and Lydia discover too late the danger of ignoring Wendy and Peter's increasing emotional dysfunction. In fact, both children exhibit symptoms of a pathological hostility. Their embitterment towards their parents is manifested in their obsession with death and killing. Many psychologists believe that persistent anger is often connected to an underlying depressive disorder.

Perhaps, Wendy and Peter are just as unhappy as their parents regarding the present state of affairs.

So, what sort of parents are the Hadleys? Do you believe that George and Lydia were naive in placing implicit trust on their Happylife Home? Consider the quote below: do you think that the Hadleys have been overly permissive? Or, are they simply uninformed about the scope of their parental roles?

“We’ve given the children everything they ever wanted. Is this our reward: secrecy, disobedience?”

“Who was it said, ‘Children are carpets, they should be stepped on occasionally’? We’ve never lifted a hand. They’re insufferable—let’s admit it. They come and go when they like; they treat us as if we were offspring. They’re spoiled and we’re spoiled.”

“They’ve been acting funny ever since you forbade them to take the rocket to New York a few months ago.”

“They’re not old enough to do that alone, I explained.”

“Nevertheless, I’ve noticed they’ve been decidedly cool toward us since.”

Hope these tips help! Again, your answer will depend upon your personal thoughts and beliefs about parenting and the domestic power structure.

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