by Ray Bradbury
The Veldt Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Do you think this story would work the same if it were literally about TV in the 1950s instead of the virtual reality nursery? What would be different about that version of this story? Is this story really about TV or is it about some larger issue?
- Super Big Question: Why do the kids hang out in Africa, on the veldt? And why do they hang out with lions? (We offer some ideas in "Setting" and "Symbols," but we're not sure.)
- How much do we learn about the Hadley family and their house? Where do you think they live and what do you think George does for work (if he works at all)? Or do those questions not matter since what's important happens inside the house? How would you feel about these people if we read a scene outside of the house?
- George and Lydia Hadley say it will be like a "vacation" to turn off all their tech. Is it ever a vacation for you to get away from your technology? Is it relaxing when the power goes out, for example? Why do you think the Hadleys call it a vacation?
- The story says that adults could use the nursery (28), but they don't in this story. Why is the nursery only used by Peter and Wendy? Is there something childish about the idea of a virtual reality room?
- The virtual reality room is important, but what about the rest of the technology? How does the house interact with the family? What other gadgets does Bradbury mention? Is there a pattern to what gadgets the Hadleys have in their house?
- What do you think happens at the end of the story? (The ending is a little open, so there might be a few different versions.)
- Do you feel like you're really there in Africa when Bradbury describes the scene? How does Bradbury describe it? We think he describes a lot of smells (possibly just because the word "odorophonic" is funny and starts with "odor"). But maybe you noticed other senses he uses. How do his descriptions affect your reading?
- Should we consider the house a character? How is it characterized? What about the other automatic equipment, especially when George turns it off? Do they seem like living characters when he "kills" them? What do you think about McClean's comment that "Nothing ever likes to die—even a room" (217)?
- What would this story look like from Peter and Wendy's point of view?
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