The Veldt Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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Where is the irony in the story "The Veldt"?

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What's particularly ironic about the story is that the automated Happylife Home is the very latest in modern technology, and yet it unleashes savage impulses in the children that hark back to the dawn of civilization.

The super-modern nursery, with its scenes of life on the African plains depicted in glorious technicolor all over the walls, has turned darling little Wendy and Peter into bloodthirsty savages who come to associate more with the wild animals than with their parents. By bringing such lurid scenes of animals killing other animals, nature red in tooth and claw in the immortal words of Tennyson, the automated nursery is taking Wendy and Peter back to prehistorical times, when our ancestors were little more than animals engaged in an endless struggle for survival. The Happy Home nursery, supposedly the apex of technological development, has brought about a process akin to evolution in reverse.

The nursery walls blur the distinction between reality and fantasy, alienating the children from their true nature and essentially turning them into little more than animals. Technology is supposed to improve people's lives, but here, as is so often the case in the works of Ray Bradbury, they have the exact opposite effect. And that's somewhat ironic, to say the least.

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