Where is there foreshadowing in "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury?

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

There is immediate foreshadowing in the opening lines of Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt":

'George, I wish you'd look at the nursery.'

'What's wrong with it?'

'I don't know....I just want you to look at it, is all, or call a psychologist in to look at it.'

With this last line of Lydia Hadley (whose name, interestingly, has the past tense of have as part of it), there is a sense of foreboding, not just for the parents, but also for the children since there is the suggestion that they are psychologically altered by this virtual reality of the African jungle.  The impending danger is foreshadowed in, not only the charging lions, but more subtlely in the "green-yellow eyes" of these virtual animals, whose evil influence supercedes the parental one.  For, the children now have become obsessed with their virtual world, rather than the real one:  "They live for the nursery." 

Published in 1950, Bradbury's story not only foreshadows the destruction of the family unit of the Hadleys, but it hints at the dangers of virtual reality that are a present threat to the detachment of people from friends and family in modern society.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

There is foreshadowing in this story in what happens every time George and Lydia go into the room in the first parts of the story.  We know (having read the whole thing) that they are going to end up being killed in the room.  We can see this foreshadowed when they go look at the room earlier in the story.

When the do this right at the beginning of the story, something has been killed, which may foreshadow that they will be. More obviously, the lions charge them and they feel like they have barely escaped with their lives.  This foreshadows what will actually happen to them.

Then, later on, we see George go into the room and find his old wallet.  That is more foreshadowing.  Something similar will happen to Lydia later.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial



cwheatley308 | Student

Foreshadowing occurs from the very start of "The Veldt".

For example, in the beginning the mother is concerned with the nursery. She asks her husband several times to check on it or complains of it acting strange

Each time the parents check on the nursery, foreshadowing of their death is evident. Furthermore, something is seen being eaten in the background of the veldt. However, it is too far off to tell what has been killed. Following this incident the children continue their obsession and exhibit irrational behavior, which is a sign of their disconnection with their parents and love for the nursery.

There is even the seen of both parents believing the lions are coming alive and running towards them.

"The lions came running at them. Lydia turned suddenly and ran. Without thinking, George ran after her. Outside in the hall, after they had closed the door quickly and noisily behind them, he was laughing and she was crying. And they both stood shocked at the other’s reaction."

Later on the story the parents hear screams coming for the nursery, which turn out to their own. Afterwards, they find a chewed wallet and an old scarf that turns out to be their personal belongings.

“An old wallet of mine,” he said. He showed it to her. The smell of hot grass was on it… and the smell of a lion. It was wet from being in the lion’s mouth, there were tooth marks on it, and there was dried blood on both sides. He closed the door and locked it, tight."

The demise of both parents is evident from the beginning of the short story "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury foreshadows it from the very first line and confirms a reader's suspicions in the closing.

Bradbury, R., & Kelley, G. (1987). The veldt. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.

Ask a Question