Family Matters: Literary Analysis of the Veldt and Heart of a Dog

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Patrick Armstrong
Professor Livanos
Comp Lit 202
6 April 2013
Family Matters: Literary Analysis of The Veldt and Heart of a Dog A family unit is like a fragile, expensive artifact. It can be absolutely beautiful, but it can also absolutely shatter into a million pieces if the wrong entity gets ahold of it. Sometimes, this critical entity that shatters it may be technology that has been used in the wrong ways. In both The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury, and Heart of a Dog, by Mikhail Bulgakov, the power of technology threatens to bring down the family unit as the reader commonly knows it. The technology in each book first grows the idea of family, but ultimately ends up hurting the social dynamic of the family it had hoped to expand. These books explore the problems that technology causes that were originally trying to fix them. In this way, technology helped to support these families initially, but eventually knocked them down, shattering them hopelessly into the ground.

In Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt, the Hadley family wanted technology to make their lives easier, more carefree, and as a life enhancer. They made their house do everything possible to mechanize ordinary household chores. The “Happylife Home…clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them” (12) this indicated the attempt to create an environment that would be free of worries. The nursery, the dreamlike play place George Hadley had installed because “nothing is too good for our children” (14) was so amazing that George was “filled with admiration for the mechanical genius who had conceived this room” (15) In this sense, George was doing what he could for his family, trying to bring them closer by providing the means to a happier existence for his kids, as well as his wife. With every chore taken care of, what worries could one possibly have? As the family would eventually find out, there were quite a few problems. Very quickly did this dreamlike world filled with...
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