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Transcript of "The Veldt"
By: Ray Bradbury
• Setting is the
in which a story takes place.
• To identify setting, we must note the details the author provides concerning:
in which the action takes place
Appearance vs. Reality
Man v. Machine
"The Veldt" was written in 1950, by a man named Ray Bradbury, It, like many of Bradbury’s short stories and like we discussed a moment ago, takes place in a house with abundant technology and the family who lives there: George and Lydia Hadley and their children, Wendy and Peter. The title is a mysterious one because it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the story. Does anyone know what a veldt is?
Raise your hand if you’ve recently watched a scary movie?
There’s always that one scene, you know, where the main character is all alone, at night, when no one else is around, and they make a crazy decision to go wander around in a dark, run-down, abandoned house. They start playing the scary music, and you just know that the killer is lurking there behind the door. Think about it… What feelings or reactions does that dark, empty house create?”
While we often associate setting with the “where” and “when,” there is also an emotional effect of setting because the setting can
create a mood or an atmosphere
. A story’s mood is
the feeling that a text
conveys to its readers.
"The day was perfect. The sun was out, the wind was pleasantly blowing, and the waves were utterly perfect."
How does that setting make you feel? What mood is the author trying to create?”
Mood & Characters:
We learn about the kind of people our characters in many different ways, but one way is through
their reactions to the setting they’re in and the mood it conveys
. So, as we’re reading, we should ask ourselves:
o How do our characters
react to the setting and the mood?
Do they react in ways we might
, or not?
o What does their reaction say about the
type of people
they might be?
George Hadley shows the theme of consumerism because he believes in getting the best that money can buy for his family. George believes that he can show his family love by buying them things. Allowing material possessions to stand in for direct human interaction and expressions of love, however, is what ultimately sets George up as the enemy to his children. The theme is summed up near the end of the story when George asks Lydia, "What prompted us to buy a nightmare?" and she replies, "Pride, money, foolishness."
..."the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts..." -Wiki
A society that is undesirable and/or frightening.
It is the opposite of a utopia. Dystopias often serve as warnings of potential dangers that can
be brought on through the misuse of technology or power. In "The Veldt," Bradbury
turns the Hadley's Happy−life Home into a dystopia that gradually dehumanizes the
children and destroys the parents. The dangers are revealed slowly through the story as
George begins to realize that the wonderful home that he has provided for his family
might not be so wonderful at all. His dream home actually turns into a nightmare.
George agrees to turn on the nursery one more time, putting himself and his wife in jeopardy, because he believes that there is a definite distinction between illusion and reality. Something that is an illusion can never become truly "real." This is why George believes that the lions are no real threat. Unfortunately, the Veldt does become real.
"The Veldt" can be read as the ultimate children's revenge story. Children often feel powerless against adults and create elaborate fantasies in which they have the power to conquer any adult who refuses to give them what they want. George triggers these fantasies in Peter and Wendy when he forbids them to take the rocket to New York. The children are used to getting their own way, and they become very angry when they cannot have what they want; the cycle of revenge is set in motion.
One of the major conflicts in Bradbury's story is that of man versus machine. Whoever controls the machine will have the ultimate power. In this story man is destroyed by the machines in two ways: not only are George and
Lydia murdered by the nursery's technology, but the children's humanity is also destroyed. By identifying so closely with the nursery, the children have become less
than human. They feel no guilt, remorse or regret when their parents die, and it is clear that they have become as cold and emotionless as the machinery that controls the
Clues the author gives us about what will happen.
Some things to look for:
-What people are saying
-Animals acting weird
-A change in the character
-Bad things happening
At the very beginning of the text, Lydia suggests that she and George call a psychologist to come take a look at the nursery. You will each write a short letter to that psychologist inviting him or her to come see the nursery and give you advice. Those on this half of the room will adopt the perspective of Lydia Hadley as you write. Those on this half will adopt the perspective of George Hadley. Be sure that your letter does the following:
o Invites the psychologist to come see the nursery.
o Explains the setting of the veldt in the nursery (relying upon specific details from the text) and the mood it conveys.
o Explains how you (as Lydia or as George) feel about the nursery.
Format of a Letter:
Dear Mr. Mcclean
(Indent your paragraph)
is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.
Effect on Others
Direct-what the narrator tells us about the character
Indirect-the actions of the character
Static-stays the same
giving human characteristics to something nonhuman
-Opportunity was knocking at her door
-The stars danced playfully in the night
What is the purpose???
is the implied meaning of the work, or the message that the author intends to convey to readers.
o Authors develop theme through various “tools” that they use in their writing – they don’t come out and tell us the message we should take away from reading the text.
o As a reader, it’s your job to
dig into the text and determine the deeper meaning
that the author is trying to convey.
o To do this, you’ll need to examine how an author uses different “tools” to create and convey meaning.
2) In “The Veldt,” Bradbury conveys his theme through the resolution of the
between the Hadley parents and the children. As readers, we need to study this resolution, asking ourselves:
o How is the conflict resolved?
of the parents and the children led to this resolution?
did the parents and children act in the ways they did?
is Bradbury aiming to convey to us about how we should and should not live our lives?
Finish the foreshadowing, character, and personification charts
Write about 2 themes from "The Veldt", what they means, the author's message to us, and if these themes are a problem in our lives.
Day 2: 7:40
Day 3: 7:21