by Ray Bradbury
The Veldt Theme of Family
In "The Veldt," family is the opposite of technology. What we mean is that families are supposed to be one way in this story (as in, kids are supposed to listen to their parents), but when technology is thrown in the mix, everything goes topsy-turvy. Lydia doesn't do the housework (the horrors!), the kids make their own rules, and father George definitely doesn't wear the pants. So, in "The Veldt," technology can mess up that normal family we've all grown used to. This probably wouldn't matter so much if it were just one family, but family here may be a small version of society; and if the family breaks down when they get new technology, there's not a lot of hope for the rest of us.
Questions About Family
- What would a parenting guide based on this story look like?
- Would this story have the same impact if the main characters were not family? What if George was a teacher and this whole story took place at school? Did you feel a bigger impact from this story because it's about a family?
- How could this family breakdown have been avoided?
- What effect does it have on you that the family is made up of two parents and two kids? Does everyone in the family have an equal role to play in the story?
Chew on This
The family in "The Veldt" is a microcosm of society, which is to say that we're all doomed because we watch way too much reality TV.
Bradbury's idea of a normal, typical family in this story is old-fashioned, but the story still has lessons to teach us about how to treat Mom and Pop.