The Veldt Topics for Further Study
by Ray Bradbury

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

‘‘The Veldt’’ deals with human beings who use technology to perpetrate evil. Can you think of any other stories or films that have a similar theme? Can you think of some stories or films where technology is used for good? If you were going to write a similar story, would you portray technology as good or evil? Why?

The early 1950s was a time when the United States was gripped by a fear of Communism known as the Red Scare. Research the form of government known as Communism. What are the main ideas behind this system of government? Why do you think it seemed so threatening to the United States in the middle of the twentieth century?

In psychoanalysis, people’s thoughts and feelings are analyzed in order to help them sort out problems. What if George had sent Wendy and Peter to a psychoanalyst immediately upon realizing that the nursery was becoming a threat? Do you think the story would have turned out differently? Why or why not? What do you think Wendy and Peter would have told the psychoanalyst? Write an imaginary conversation between these three characters.

If you were going to design your own Happy-life Home, what automated conveniences would you put in it? Would you put in any safety mechanisms in case something went wrong? If so, what kind of mechanisms would you install?

Research an African veldt. What kinds of plants and animals can be found there? Do you think Bradbury’s description in the story is accurate?

In his story, Bradbury uses careful descriptions and similes to create the sensory experience of the African veldt for the reader. Research another environmental setting, such as a tropical rain forest or the Arctic tundra. What descriptive words or phrases could help convey this environment to a reader? Can you think of some similes that would help the reader really ‘‘feel’’ the environment? Write a descriptive passage that evokes this sensory experience.