by Ray Bradbury
The Veldt Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
And here were the lions now, fifteen feet away, so real, so feverishly and startlingly real that you could feel the prickling fur on your hand, and your mouth was stuffed with the dusty upholstery smell of their heated pelts, and the yellow of them was in your eyes like the yellow of an exquisite French tapestry, the yellows of lions and summer grass, and the sound of the matted lion lungs exhaling on the silent noontide, and the smell of meat from the panting, dripping mouths. (29)
Check out how Bradbury slips us into the scene here. This may be George's point of view—he's the one who sees that the lions are "here"—but Bradbury wants to make us really feel the scene, too. Do you ever get the impression that Bradbury wants a virtual reality room for himself? Who can blame him, since it's fun for the whole family? Just don't let the parents anywhere near it.
Instinctively, George sprang after her. (33)
Bradbury reminds us that George's reaction to the lions is just "instinct" here since, if he stopped to think about it, he wouldn't run from them. But that would be a very short story: George meets lions, doesn't think they're real, and gets eaten by them. Maybe George's problem is that he should trust his instincts more.
He stepped into Africa. How many times in the last year had he opened this door and found Wonderland, Alice, the Mock Turtle, or Aladdin and his Magical Lamp, or Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, or Dr. Doolittle, or the cow jumping over a very real-appearing moon… (72)
We cover all these references in the "Shout-Outs" and it's funny how outdated they all are. Even in 1950, these were older books. Maybe Bradbury chose these so his adult readers would get the references, since they read the children's books in the 1920s? If you were to rewrite the story today, what world would kids want to go to? The Hunger Games? Twilight? Harry Potter?