An Analysis of Symbolism in The Veldt, a Short Story by Ray Bradbury

Analysis of the Usage of Symbolism to Present a Theme In the story, The Veldt, Lydia Hadley and George Hadley live in a big automated house that does most of the work for them. This special house consists of a nursery where it is covered with screens that project a virtual reality of an African veldt. The Hadley’s children, Wendy and Peter Hadley, have been completely overcome with obsession with the nursery which causes their parents to worry. Lydia’s concern for her children’s attraction to violence, which is shown by their growing enjoyment of watching lions feasting on their prey, overwhelms her enough to call a psychologist to check on the their mental health.

After several disagreements and convincing, the parents eventually agree to shut down the nursery. Outraged, children defiantly lock their own parents in the nursery and feed them to the hungry virtual lions. Ray Bradbury enriches his plot with many rhetorical tactics such as symbolism and themes.

A reoccuring theme in the story would be sense of connection. Although there are many other themes portrayed in the story, the theme of attachment/ connection illustrates the plot thoroughly, as well as develop inner conflicts. Bradbury characterizes the house as a symbol to future implicate this theme.

A character that continuously expresses her distaste for the house, particularly the nursery, would be the mother, Lydia Hadley. Since the beginning, Mrs. Hadley has had some serious issues with the nursery, from fearing that the simulations are too real, to her children’s reluctance to leave that room.

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“Maybe I don’t have enough to do. Maybe, I have time to think too much. Why don’t we shut the whole house off for a few days to take a vacation.” (Bradbury, 3). Based on this, Mrs. Hadley can be seen to be detached to the house. Due to the fact, the house is so technologically advanced, she feels dissatisfied with her free time. And since her children spend so much time in the nursery, she is concerned for her family’s safety from the hungry lions. Because of the fact she is constantly worried of the repercussions the house has on both her and her children, Mrs. Hadley does not have a personal connection to the house. Unlike Mrs. Hadley, her children seem to be extremely attached to the house. Throughout the story, the children are constantly in the nursery. “You know how difficult Peter is about that.

When I punish him a month ago by locking the nursery for even a few hours – the tantrums be threw! And Wendy too. They live for that nursery.” (Bradbury, 2) This quote presents how connected the children are with the nursery. This addictiveness causes great strain on the relationships the children have with their parents. When the parents decided to shut down the nursery for good, the children rebelled and locked the parents inside against their will. Showing, the compulsive need the children have to take any sort of drastic measures in order to stay in the nursery. Thus, illustrating their attachment to the nursery. In summation, the story, The Veldt, is composed of many different rhetorical tactics.

Symbolism is commonly present, especially symbolism of the house. This helps compose the plot as well as assist the central theme. The house is a symbol for children of newer generations becoming completely addicted to technology where they are not as connected with their parents.

These electronics become a priority and when they are taken away, it causes great distress to the children. Bradbury purposely uses the house to convey his theme of attachment to the story. The house helps express the mother’s true feelings and connections as well as the children’s. As an end result, Bradbury formulates a plot taking place in a virtual reality where the interaction between a house (inanimate) and a human (animate) becomes real.

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An Analysis of Symbolism in The Veldt, a Short Story by Ray Bradbury. (2022, May 10). Retrieved from

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