George Hadley - Concerned father. Lydia Hadley - Concerned mother. Peter Hadley - Child of George and Lydia. Wendy Hadley - Child of George and Lydia. David McClean - Psychologist friend of the Hadleys.
Two parents use an artificial "nursery" to keep their children happy. The children use the high- tech simulation nursery to create the predatorily environment of an African veldt. When the parents threaten to take it away, the children lock their parents inside where they are mauled and killed by the "harmless" machine-generated lions of the nursery.nursery
In the Hadley's fully automated home, the nursery is a room that comes to life with realistic looking holograms, reflecting anything the children imagine or think about The future as seen by Ray Bradbury of the 1950s
In “The Veldt" there are excellent examples of how Bradbury uses similes and metaphors to help create the ambience in the story. For example, when George is eating dinner and thinking about his recent experience in the nursery, Bradbury uses the phrases, "That sun. He could feel it on his neck, still, like a hot paw” (Bradbury xx). This simile serves two purposes. Not only does it heighten the description of George's sensation by making the sun's heat seem much more tangible, it also foreshadows the ending of the story when George and Lydia are attacked by lions.
Bradbury also uses a metaphor effectively near the end of the piece when he has George ask, "Lord, how did we ever get in this house? What prompted us to buy a nightmare?“ (Bradbury xx) By using the metaphor of house as nightmare, Bradbury not only conveys the fact that George has become very concerned but also that he still believes everything will turn out all right. After all, a nightmare is only an illusion. Or, at least that's what George believes.
Allusion: reference to Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Doolittle, Aladdin and other Children's book stories The children reference Peter Pan and also symbolize how the children do not want to grow up. Just like the way Peter and Wendy want to go to Neverland and never grow up.
Foreshadowing: "When I punished him a month ago by locking the nursery for even a few hours - the tantrum he threw! And Wendy too. They live for the nursery."
Protagonist - The Hadley parents, who are concerned about the morbid imagination of their children. Antagonist - The Hadley children, who are strangely protective of their virtual reality nursery. Climax - The Hadley parents decide to shut down the nursery, but let the children play in it one last time. Outcome - The nursery sets its lions on the Hadley parents, killing them and protecting the Hadley children from being deprived of its comforts.
The main theme is the abuse of technology. In this case, there is a chain of causality: the laziness engendered by a fully automated home has destroyed the familial bond, as the parents have ceased parenting; with the family bond broken, technology has stepped into the vacuum and become the new parent of the children, providing not only comfort and care but the means to eliminate the old parents. Related to this theme is the danger of the imagination, as the children have conjured the reality that preys on their parents.