In the story, a mother and father struggle with their technologically advanced home taking over their role as parents, and their children becoming uncooperative as a result of their lack of discipline. The Hadley family lives in an automated house called "The Happylife Home", filled with machines that aid them in completing everyday tasks, such as tying their shoes, bathing themselves, or even cooking their food. The two children, Peter and Wendy, [a] become fascinated with the "nursery", a virtual reality room able to reproduce any place they imagine. The parents, George and Lydia, begin to wonder if there is something wrong with their way of life. Lydia tells George, "That's just it.
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Joshua holds a master's degree in Latin and has taught a variety of Classical literature and language courses. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. We can all probably remember throwing a tantrum at least once when we were little. Chances are we didn't get something that we really wanted, but the chances are also good that we were reprimanded for our behavior and learned from the experience. As psychologist David McClean - a supporting character in Bradbury's short story - discovers, however, this usual process of rearing children is clearly not at work in the Hadley household.
Instead, George and Lydia Hadley cater to their children's every whim. With apparently huge sums of wealth, George had their 'Happylife Home' constructed - a futuristic house that manages literally every aspect of their lives. He also added an extra feature: the children's virtual nursery, which reads the occupants' thoughts and transmits the full sensory experience through crystalline walls. As one might expect, Peter and Wendy Hadley are consequently spoiled brats.
However, instead of simply kicking and screaming which they do plenty of, anyway , these two have more murderous ways of rebelling. Not wanting to be separated from the comforts of home, the children use the lions on the African veldt , or wide open rural landscape, they've created in their nursery to eliminate the only things stopping them from doing exactly as they please - their parents.
Keep reading as we explore along with Dr. McClean the damaged psyches of this deathly dysfunctional family! Like too many others, you've built it around creature comforts…' is McClean's professional opinion following his inspection of the children's nursery.
The Hadley patriarch has used his considerable wealth to surround his family with the latest in futuristic luxury. The Hadleys literally don't even have to lift a finger to do something as simple as cutting their own food. Aside from all the amenities he's provided, George also goes to great lengths to ensure his kids have whatever they could desire. The virtual nursery, however, may have been a step too far, and even Lydia realizes it.
In the beginning of the story, she's unnerved by the children's choice of a grassland full of ravenous lions, but perhaps even more so by the fact that she feels inferior to this piece of technology. And she's not the only one who thinks so. While trying to understand why the children would be harboring hostility toward their parents, Dr.
McClean discovers that George locked the room for a couple days around a month ago - about the same time the veldt first appeared - to discipline the kids.
This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. And now you come along and want to shut if off. No wonder there's hatred here. Essentially, George and Lydia have allowed themselves to become so complacent and lazy that they take little or no active roles in their children's lives at all. This has made them obsolete to Peter and Wendy, and like how you might throw out an outdated smartphone, the children have no qualms about getting rid of useless equipment.
At first glance, even Dr. McClean thought that the Hadleys had simply 'spoiled their children more than most,' but closer examination reveals something more disturbing than just a couple of brats.
In fact, after interpreting Peter and Wendy's handiwork in the nursery, the psychologist concludes that they most likely need at least a year's worth of therapy. But what damage has actually been done? Peter and Wendy's problems are very much connected to where Bradbury got their names: J. Barrie's Peter and Wendy , which you might know better as Peter Pan.
Even if you're not familiar at all with Barrie's story, you're probably still aware that Peter Pan has become a cultural icon of eternal youth. However, as whimsical and imaginative as this notion may be, it presents some difficulties to real-life growth and development.
Peter Pan symbolizes an ageless spirit - eternally childlike in its pursuit of fun, adventure, and comfort and its rejection of responsibility. Of course, the story of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling is a fantasy, but there are people such as Peter and Wendy Hadley who embody this sense of immaturity in reality. As children themselves, though, there wouldn't normally be any harm in letting them hang on to youth for as long as possible.
However, the real trouble lies in the fact that there really aren't any actual adults in this household to show the children when their flights of fancy have gone too far.
Ultimately, the lazy, ultra-comfortable lifestyle the Hadleys lead has left even the older members of the family in a perpetually puerile state. McClean even goes so far as to claim that George wouldn't even know how to crack an egg without the house's help, giving us the image of a helpless child who can't yet feed himself.
With that said, Peter and Wendy have no experience with parental guidance, so when George and Lydia actually try to put their foot down, the only reaction the kids know is to defend life as they know it.
As though they were wild beasts themselves, Peter and Wendy's defensive instincts take over, leading them to leave their parents to the lions of the blood-drenched African veldt they all helped create. According to David McClean - a psychologist in 'The Veldt' who comes to inspect the Hadleys home - George and Lydia are too indulgent of their children and have themselves become helplessly childlike.
Due to the lack of discipline or guidance they offer their kids, they've become obsolete as parents, leaving Peter and Wendy - whose names reference the eternally youthful Peter Pan - unable to grow up because their parents refused to, demonstrating the true dangers of perpetual immaturity.
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You might think your family's crazy, but you probably haven't met the Hadleys yet. Come get acquainted with the whole disconnected crew in this lesson on the characters found in Bradbury's 'The Veldt. Meet the Hadleys: Characters in 'The Veldt' by Ray Bradbury We can all probably remember throwing a tantrum at least once when we were little.
The Parents 'George, you'll have to change your life. The Kids At first glance, even Dr. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Lesson Summary According to David McClean - a psychologist in 'The Veldt' who comes to inspect the Hadleys home - George and Lydia are too indulgent of their children and have themselves become helplessly childlike. Register to view this lesson Are you a student or a teacher? I am a student I am a teacher.
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To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page Transferring credit to the school of your choice Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Browse Articles By Category Browse an area of study or degree level. Area of Study. Degree Level. You are viewing lesson Lesson 13 in chapter 3 of the course:.
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Characters in The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
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The Veldt (short story)
In "The Veldt," George and Lydia Hadley are the parents of Wendy and Peter Hadley , and they live in a technologically driven house that will do everything for its inhabitants - transport you upstairs, brush your teeth, cook the food, and clean the house. The story begins when Lydia asks George if he's noticed anything wrong with the nursery, the most expensive and exciting room of the house. The glass walls have the ability to project the landscape and environment of any place that the mind of the visitor wishes. During this particular visit, George and Lydia are surrounded by the African countryside. In the distance, lions are licking the bones of their prey clean. The images are so startlingly lifelike that when the holographic lions begin to charge, George and Lydia run for the door to escape.
Ray Bradbury: Short Stories Summary and Analysis of "The Veldt"
Ray Bradbury Published in by Doubleday, the book was a great success with readers and critics alike. It was the perfect follow-up to Bradbury's successful publication of The Martian Chronicles the year before, and it cemented his reputation as a great writer. The anthology is a collection of short stories, most of which had been previously published individually in pulp and slick magazines. Bradbury tied these stories together with the framing device of the Illustrated Man himself.