Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 417
George Hadley is a father who wants to provide the best for his family. He loves his children, and is concerned about their welfare. He does not like acting as a disciplinarian, but will punish the children when necessary. Throughout the story, George slowly becomes frustrated with the effect the house is having on his family. He cares more for his family than he does for the convenience the automated house can provide; and therefore, he has no problem turning off the house. George does not jump to conclusions and tries to take a very logical approach to problems. George’s logical nature is the reason that he does not realize the true danger of the nursery until it is too late.
Lydia Hadley is a caring mother who loves her husband and her children. She is concerned that the high-tech home they are living in is having a negative effect upon the family relationships, and she longs for a return to a more traditional setting. Lydia has a strong intuition about the threat the nursery poses. Lydia wants to do what is right, but she has a hard time following through with discipline and tends to give in to her children.
Peter Hadley is a spoiled ten-year-old boy who does not like to be told “no.” He dominates his twin sister, Wendy, and often orders her around. Peter is very strong-willed and is not afraid to stand up to his father. He has a high I.Q. and is especially knowledgeable when it comes to technology. Peter is a cold and calculating little boy who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He is not above using threats and even murder to accomplish his objectives.
Wendy Hadley is ten years old and is Peter’s twin sister. She is a follower who obeys the wishes of her brother. She is extremely emotionally dependent upon the nursery and is devastated when her father threatens to turn it off permanently. Wendy has no emotional connection to her parents whatsoever and, therefore, has no remorse for setting them up to be killed.
David McClean is a psychologist and a family friend. He is astute when it comes to recognizing the threat that some children’s fantasies allude to. He immediately recognizes the dangerous state of mind that the children are in and wants to try and help George repair the emotional damage the nursery has caused.
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