Why is the use of the names Peter and Wendy for the two children in the story "The Veldt" significant?

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Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As others have noted, the names Peter and Wendy Hadley in Bradbury's 1950 story are inspired by J.M. Barrie's 1904 Peter Pan. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy Darling are a bit different than Bradbury's, however, given that Peter Pan does not wish to grow up and never does, while Wendy Darling leaves him after a time to return to her family.

In Bradbury's story, Peter and Wendy remain in the state of egocentrism that psychologists observe that most well-adjusted adults outgrow. Egocentism that persists in children into their adolescence can, many psychologists observe, be caused by perceived parental rejection.

As created by Bradbury, Peter and Wendy Hadley might well believe on some level that their parents have abandoned them to the machines that see to their daily needs. When their father begins to set limits for them, the children have become so...

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