Ray Bradbury “The Veldt”
The negative influence of technological progress of humanity has been a topic for science fiction for decades. Ray Bradbury’s short story is a warning of how the institution of family is going to degrade under the influence of technology which allows wrong values to break down traditional bonds and affection. By means of symbolism, the author reveals his message: technology is going to replace parenting and will eventually end in a catastrophe.
Written in the 1950s, this message looks terrifyingly prophetic in 2015, when virtual reality had become indispensable for the younger generation.The story takes place in a house which is stuffed with electronic devices of all kinds, and these devices have made human resources useless. The family of parents with two children seems to feel disconnected for this reason. We find out that machines do everything that is typically made by parents in a real world: they wash children in a bathroom, cook meals for them, and certainly they entertain them. Children have a special nursery based on virtual reality which follows their emotions and fantasies and makes them come true. The father, George, is proud of the playground, which cost fifteen thousand dollars and he could afford it for his children.
However, it looks like the function of parents had finished with that purchase because they have no real opportunities to take care of their children. George’s wife, Lidia, can feel something is wrong with the situation and she actually pronounces the reason for the gloomy future to follow: "That's just it. I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now, and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt? Can I give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic scrub bath can? I cannot."( Bradbury 11). Because parents give full control over children to machines, they lose touch with children completely. They have no relationship that is usually understood by the word “family”: little actions of service such as cooking or helping with homework are essential for the feeling of unity.
Yet, the Bradleys are not like that because the society of consumerism where they live cultivates the value of personal comfort and pleasure over the joy of serving each other. "But I thought that's why we bought this house, so we wouldn't have to do anything?"says George meaning that doing nothing is the purpose of technology, but what is the function of humans then? Even though they love their children in their way, their affection is devoid of warmth. They are quite loyal and permit children every pleasure, and lose authority because of their own uselessness.In their turn, children understand that they actually do not need their parents because nothing unites them except living in the same place. Moreover, the parents become obstacles to their freedom, and it takes them no effort to decide and get rid of them. The nursery works in an interesting way: “Remarkable how the nursery caught …