The Veldt


Ray Bradbury

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The Veldt Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Ray Bradbury's The Veldt. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, a town that eventually featured in his fiction as “Green Town.” He attended high school in Los Angeles, and never went to college. Because of his educational background, Bradbury was a huge proponent of libraries, to which he attributes his education as a writer and thinker, and where he wrote the story that eventually became the classic book Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury got his first break in 1947 when Truman Capote, then a young editor, noticed his story “Homecoming,” which was eventually published in Mademoiselle, and garnered an O. Henry Award. A prolific writer, Bradbury wrote 27 novels and around 600 short stories. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 91; by his death he was already regarded as the most important science fiction writer of his era.
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Historical Context of The Veldt

When Bradbury was born in 1920, many of the things he came to write about didn’t exist. As he grew up, radio and television introduced the world to a new form of mass entertainment. These new media were instantaneous, widely accessible, and made life seem vivid and interesting. Combined with the post-WWII economic boom, these new technologies aided in the creation of a consumer culture that emphasized instant gratification, constant and stimulating entertainment, and intense comfort created by the automation of daily human tasks. Simultaneously, the 1950s were a period in which young people began to rebel against established authorities. Bradbury viewed many of these cultural developments with distaste, and wrote fiction to warn against what may come of this new technology. As he stated in an interview, “My business is to prevent the future.”

Other Books Related to The Veldt

Bradbury cites the Biblical story of Daniel in the lions’ den, which he learned about when he was a child, as an early influence on “The Veldt.” He also cites Aldous Huxley’s futuristic Brave New World as having a powerful impact on his writing. William March’s 1954 novel, The Bad Seed, captures many of the same themes as “The Veldt”; the novel attempts to understand human nature through the mind of a murderous child.
Key Facts about The Veldt
  • Full Title: The Veldt
  • When Written: 1950
  • Where Written: Los Angeles
  • When Published: 1950, published originally under the title “The World the Children Made”
  • Literary Period: Science fiction/Fantasy
  • Genre: Short story/Science fiction/Fantasy
  • Setting: The Happylife Home, a futuristic suburban house
  • Climax: Wendy and Peter murder their parents
  • Antagonist: The “nursery”; Wendy and Peter
  • Point of View: Omniscient narrator

Extra Credit for The Veldt

Old-fashioned. Bradbury never owned a computer in his life, preferring instead to write and correspond via typewriter. When asked what invention he would eliminate from the last 100 years, he responded that he would get rid of the automobile.

Bradbury Theater. Bradbury’s talents and interests extended beyond the literary field. He adapted many of his stories for “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” a television series that aired from 1985-92. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his animated film, Icarus Montgolfier Wright, and won an Emmy Award for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree.