by Ray Bradbury
The African Veldt
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Bradbury could have the kids playing anywhere. They could be at Disneyland, having some good clean fun. Or they could be riding the Trans-Siberian Railway. Hey, the kids could even be playing in a virtual reality version of the Arctic, and wolves could eat the parents.
That version of the story would still have many of the key elements of "The Veldt": parents vs. kids, technology amuck, the virtual reality room. That pretty much covers it, right? So what gives? Why Africa, and not the Arctic (or some other dangerous place).
Perhaps it's the hot weather and the sweltering sun. Perhaps there's something uniquely terrifying about lions (as opposed to wolves, bears, or even dragons). Perhaps the kids just really wanted to go on a safari. In any case, we think choosing the African veldt as the setting in the nursery holds some pretty big significance. But that's just it: it's a setting. So head on over to our "Setting" section for a more thorough discussion of just what's up with the African veldt.