The Veldt

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“THE VELDT”
THEMES

Abandonment
Abandonment occurs on two levels in Bradbury’s story. First, the children are figuratively abandoned by their parents when they are left in the care of a technological baby sitter. As the character of David McClean tells George, “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.” This accidental abdication of parental responsibility sets the children up to become emotionally attached to the nursery. Then, when George threatens to turn off the nursery, the children are terrified because now they are going to be abandoned by their new, surrogate parent, the nursery. Alienation

Alienation occurs when one feels cut off or estranged from what used to be comfortable and familiar. A sense of isolation and uneasiness takes over. In “The Veldt,” this theme is embodied in the character of Lydia. She is the first to recognize that there is something unfamiliar happening in the house and urges George to take a look at the nursery because, it “is different now than it was.” Lydia clearly recognizes her own feelings of alienation when she admits very early in the story, “I feel like I don’t belong here. “ Consumerism

George Hadley embodies the theme of consumerism because he believes in providing the best that money can buy for his family. George believes that he can show his family love by buying them things. Allowing material possessions to stand in for direct human interaction and expressions of love, however, is what ultimately sets George up as the enemy to his children. The theme is succinctly summed up near the end of the story when George asks Lydia, “What prompted us to buy a nightmare?” and she replies, “Pride, money, foolishness.”

Dystopia
A dystopia is a place in which people lead fearful, dehumanized lives. It is the opposite of a utopia. Dystopias often serve as warnings of potential...
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