I’ve managed to wait six months without reviewing Ray Bradbury. I think that’s rather commendable.
The Veldt focuses on a futuristic utopian household gone very wrong. Bradbury describes a house that is designed to see to its’ occupiers every need and perform all tasks and duties, from cooking dinner to tying shoelaces to even rocking them to sleep at night.
The house also features a special nursery that projects anything children imagine onto the crystalline walls. For instance, if they have just read Peter Pan it may recreate NeverLand, or if they have learned about Egypt it may display the pyramids.
But the children in the Hadley household have recently become obsessed with African veldtland, and have therefore projected this treacherous landscape into the room every single day for weeks.
It has become disconcerting for their mother and father as they hear lions roar and screams from within the nursery on a regular basis. The veldltand is a hot, wild and dangerous, and their mother believe a psychologist may need to be involved to discover why the two kids are having such macabre thoughts.
The couple even think they should holiday from their happy home and turn off all technology, so they have to do everything by hand and remember what it was like to really live.
But the children don’t want this and will do everything they can to stop their parents taking their nursery away from them. If you hand such technological power to hostile, selfish youths, what will that mean for their parents?
Although the Veldt is not one of Bradbury’s stronger stories, it is an incredibly distinct way to broach technological convenience, which is so relevant today. He frequently played upon the themes of pedophobia in his fiction, and this story does make you wonder what a spoilt child would do if they had the technological advantage against their parents.
An original and interesting cautionary tale, although perhaps not as captivating as some of his others.