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The Veldt by Ray Bradbury: Literary Analysis
Name: _______________
Block: _______________
"The Veldt" is a short story written by Ray Bradbury that was published originally as "The World the
Children Made" in the September 23, 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, later republished in
the anthology The Illustrated Man in 1951. It offers a view of what Bradbury predicted family life and
technology would be like around the year 2000.
Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American fantasy, science fiction,
horror, and mystery fiction writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Farenheit 451 (1953) and for the
science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The
Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers.
Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.
1. Historical context
 Nuclear Proliferation and the Cold War –

The Red Scare –

The Move to the Suburbs –

Television –
2. The 50’s and Now
The 50’s
Minimum Wage 75 cents per hour
Reading
TV
Credit card
Psychology
Toys
Now
Pulp fiction magazines declining in
popularity
23.5% of Americans own tv – all black
and white
Diner’s club first credit card
Psychoanalysis new and not generally
accepted
Slinky; Candyland
3. Bradbury believed in a very strong start to his stories. He starts with five interesting lines.
What do you learn in these first five lines?
4. Themes
 Abandonment

Alienation

Consumerism

Dystopia

Illusion vs. reality

Man vs. machine
5. Focus on family
 How does Bradbury show us what the family relationship is like?

What does the interchange between George and the children reveal?

George names the children’s creation of the veldt as “death thoughts.” Explain the factors
that produce the “death thoughts” in the children?

According to the psychologist, what is the problem with the family?
6. Focus on the house
 How does George’s thoughts change on the nursery and the Happy-life Home?

Why does Lydia want to shut off the house and take a “vacation” from it?

Why is living in a house that does everything for you not “carefree”?
7. Literary devices
Similes
Metaphors
Foreshadowing
Personification
Irony
Point of view
7. Literary devices
Mood
Others
8. Satire
What aspects of contemporary family life do the “Happylife Home” and the nursery satirize?
9. Further thoughts …
What do you think happens at the end of the story?