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"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

Author: Amee Wittbrodt
Description:
  • Read a short story and analyze the basic plot and the author's purpose.
  • Summarize and paraphrase sections of the short story.
  • Predict the future of the internet.

In this packet, students are asked to read "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury and answer the questions that follow.

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Tutorial

Background Information

"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

George and Lydia Hadley are parents of Wendy and Peter Hadley. They spare no expense at providing their children with the best that technology can offer. Their house is completely computerized. There are machines to fry eggs, generate food, sweep the house and bathe the children. Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the Hadley house is the nursery; a room that turns the children's imagination to reality.

At the beginning of the story, Lydia and George step into the nursery and find an African veldt. They witness lions feed on prey. Then, the lions charge at the couple. The couple run out of the room and slam the door. Concerned with their children's imagination, they consider shutting down the nursery.  The children do not agree with this and take matters into their own hands.

Who is Ray Bradbury? Click here to find out more.

"The Veldt" Click here to read this short story.

"The Veldt" Click here to listen to this short story (3 parts).

Discussion Questions

  1. T/F? George and Lydia Hadley's Happylife Home does everything for them including, cooking, bathing the children, cleaning the house, and rocking them to sleep at night.
  2. T/F? After almost being attacked by lions, George and Lydia decide to lock the nursery for a few days.
  3. T/F? George and Lydia call in a psychiatrist to look at the nursery because they want their children to be taken away.
  4. T/F? George and Lydia decide to let their children go into the nursery one more time before they go on a family vacation to Iowa.
  5. T/F? George and Lydia are eaten by the lions in the nursery at the end of the story.
  6. T/F? At the end of the story, George and Lydia realize that the screams coming from the nursery where really their own.
  7. At the beginning of the story, why is Lydia so concerned about the children?
  8. What noise are George and Lydia concerned about coming from the nursery?
  9. Why does George think the nursery is “out of order”?
  10. How do the children react after their dad, George, threw the switch and “killed the nursery”?
  11. What two items belonging to the parents are found in the nursery?
  12. Who said the following quote? "Maybe I don't have enough to do. Maybe I have time to think too much. Why don't we shut the whole house off for a few days and take a vacation?"
  13. Who said the following quote? "We've given the children everything they ever wanted. Is this our reward—secrecy, disobedience?"
  14. After George threatens to shut off the house, who says the following quote? "That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?"
  15. What is the author's purpose in writing this short story?
  16. What comment is the author, Ray Bradbury, making about future technology?  Think about who really parents the children, how Lydia feels that she doesn't have enough to do, and the fact that Peter and Wendy think about death so often.
  17. Which aspects of the story do you think seem farfetched and which seem realistic?  Could Happylife Homes really exist someday?  EXPLAIN your opinion.
  18. What does the psychiatrist say is wrong with Peter and Wendy?  Paraphrase this quote.  Put it into YOUR own words.  "You've let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children's affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. And now you come along and want to shut it off. No wonder there's hatred here. You can feel it coming out of the sky. Feel that sun. George, you'll have to change your life. Like too many others, you've built it around creature comforts. Why, you'd starve tomorrow if something went wrong in your kitchen. You wouldn't know how to tap an egg. Nevertheless, turn everything off. Start new. It'll take time. But we'll make good children out of bad in a year, wait and see."
  19. Summarize this story.  Pretend that you are telling a friend about this story. Sum up the basic plot in 10-15 sentences.