The Veldt

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Themes and Colors
Consumer Culture and Technology Theme Icon
“Too Real” Reality Theme Icon
Human Nature Theme Icon
Death of the Family Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Veldt, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

“The Veldt” portrays a futuristic society in which things, especially consumer goods, have gained a life of their own. In the name of convenience and contentment, technology fulfills people’s every need, reducing humans to passive beings who only eat, breathe, and sleep. Bradbury, who wrote this story in 1950, was responding to the post-World War II consumer culture that was rapidly developing as the U.S. economy boomed. It’s remarkable how closely his extrapolation of American…

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In Bradbury’s story, virtual reality has powerfully altered the Hadley family’s perception of reality. In the Happylife Home, this technology takes the form of a “nursery”, a room for the Hadleys’ children that immerses them in any scene the can imagine. For the children Wendy and Peter, the power of virtual reality reaches the point where they would much rather interact with the nursery than with the real world. As George points…

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The Happylife Home is Bradbury’s futuristic vision of technology nearing its zenith. It may seem strange, then, that the predominant image in the story is that of an African veldt. The juxtaposition between advanced technology and this quintessential image of nature merits investigation. Technology and Nature are usually imagined as polar opposites. The development of technology, we might say, has allowed us to become masters of nature. In “The Veldt,” the nursery allows the…

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On the most basic level, “The Veldt” is about a family going through the typical problems that arise in family life. George and Lydia are parents who spoil their children, and then try to discipline them by taking away the toys they originally spoiled them with. In response, Wendy and Peter begin to hate their parents. The difference between the Hadleys and a real family is that the Hadley children’s toys are much more powerful…

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