The Veldt

This study guide will help you analyze the text “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it.

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy. His most famous literary works are the dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Illustrated Man”. He is one of the most famous American authors of all times and the writer who has managed to make science fiction more modern and accessible to a larger audience. 

The short story “The Veldt” was first published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1950 under the title “The World the Children Made”.

Excerpt from the study guide:


The fully-automated Happylife Home and the nursery are symbolic of technological advancement but also of the unhappiness that it can bring to people, despite it being designed to make life easier and happier. The nursery is also symbolic of the kind of parent that Peter and Wendy want for themselves – a parent that notices their thoughts and emotions, and turns them into reality, virtually fulfilling their every wish. The nursery, therefore, symbolically replaces George and Lydia as a caregiver for the children. The nursery is also symbolic of life – as it somehow becomes able to turn holograms into real beings (the lions) – but also of death, as it carries out the children’s revenge by killing George and Lydia. 

The veldt and some of its elements, such as the sun, the lions, and the vultures are symbolic of the children’s hatred and wish for revenge on their parents: “ ‘No wonder there’s hatred here. You can feel it coming out of the sky. Feel that sun.’ ”. Moreover, for the children, the veldt is symbolic of a non-technological place where they can have “real”, physical interactions. This suggests their wish to escape the coldness of their technology-led lives but, ironically, they can only achieve this through technology.

The psychologist, David McClean, is symbolic of normalcy, reason, and knowledge. He can see and clearly explain the faulty relationship between the Hadleys and their children, the effects that the house’s technology has on them, and suggests there might be potentially disastrous consequences.

The children’s names – Peter and Wendy – could also be symbolic, as they may remind readers of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. Like Peter Pan, the children seem to never want to grow up. Instead, they want to spend all their time in the nursery, which takes care of them and fulfils their every wish.



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The Veldt

  • 30.01.2023