In "The Veldt," what are the goals and motivations of Peter and Wendy?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the HappyLifeHome of Lydia and George Hadley, technology serves the family at every turn, leaving them hours of leisure. Believing that "nothing is too good for our children," George and his wife have a huge virtual reality "nursery" installed for their children Wendy and Peter.

Now, with respect to the children, there seem to be two factors at work:

  • The children are surrounded by technological tools that do everything for them; therefore, they do not develop their own imaginations and use their own creativity, nor do they interact with their parents in any wholesome way.

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."

  • Because of the children's detachment from their family in the nursery where there is no true reality, Wendy and Peter become completely absorbed in this virtual reality of the nursery and find real life much less interesting. Thus, when their parents wish to interact with them, there is a growing resentment in the children because they perceive George and Lydia as attempting to deprive them of their excitement and enjoyment of the veldt. 

So, when George closes the nursery, Wendy and Peter let this action fuel their resentment into hatred. This hatred becomes tangible through the use of the technology of the vedlt.

But now, is yellow hot Africa, this bake oven with murder in the heat.

As the psychologist says, "

"In this case, however, the room has become a channel toward-destructive thoughts, instead of a release away from them."

These destructive thoughts, then, become the goal and motivations of Wendy and Peter who have become enthralled with the veldt to the exclusion of their real parents, whom they perceive as an intrusion in their virtual world.