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?