Lions in the Grass | Teen Ink

Lions in the Grass

November 22, 2014
By Proudheart PLATINUM, Evansville, Wisconsin
Proudheart PLATINUM, Evansville, Wisconsin
32 articles 5 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you are going through Hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill

Ray Bradbury states, "The Veldt isn't about technology. It's about how different generations deal with each other, and tech just provides a way to describe that interaction." This is true because, although malfunctioning technology was a large part of the story, the climax of the story was when the parents descovered that their children had been planning to kill them for some time, and they could not understand why. This can be seen in the characterization of the children, the setting of the nursery, and the irony of the death of the parents.

The characterization of the children sets them apart from their parents in a tremendous way. The parents and children are opposites; the parents care deeply for their children, while the children are utterly indifferent towards their parents. The parents let their children do what ever they want; they do not impose rules, and do not tell the children what to do. The children, on the other hand, order their parents around and get angry when their parents try to control them in any way. An example of this is when the children wanted to take the rocket to New York, and their parents would not let them, so the children grew cold and distant toward their parents, ultimately leading to them killing their parents. The different attitudes of the children and the parents toward each other was an important literary device because it showed how the two different generations were effected by the technology of the nursery.

The nursery itself was important in the story because it was a representation of the minds of the children. The children frequently thought about death, and killing their parents, and so the setting of the nursery was the African veldtland, an unforgiving, violent environment. The house represented the veldt because it would have been as unforgiving to the people living in it when it was turned off. This showed that the people living in the house had come to depend too much on the house doing everything for them, the children mainly. The parents knew how to survive without the house, but their children did not. In addition, the parents represented the prey of the veldtland, and the children represented the predators. The parents lived in fear of how their children would react to anything they did, and eventually they literally became the prey when the children locked them in the nursery to be eaten by lions. The children represented the predators because they controlled the actions of their parents through fread, and they literally became the predators when they lock their parents in the nursery to die.

The death of the parents is ironic for a few reasons. Firstly, the children killed their parents because they did not like the rules that were imposed upon them, though, in turning on the nursery for the children one last time, the parents were giving the children what they wanted. In addition, the parents are supposed to have control over their children, but in the story, the children had control over the parents. The parents make choices based on what they thought would keep the children happy, and in the end it cost them their lives. The children controlled their parents, all the way to their deaths. The parents did not have a stron connection with the technology, nor with their children. The children were however very dependent on the technology, and were thus very connected with it. This caused the parents to not understand the connection their children had with the technology, and therefore they did not understand that their children depended on the technology more than they depended on their parents.

Therefore, the technology was a major part of the story and the events leading to the death of the parents, but the difference in the two generations was the main problem, and was only slightly influenced by the technology. Through the characterization of the children, the setting of the nursery, and the irony of the death of the parents, Ray Bradbury tells a story not of the evils of technology, but of the evils of human nature itself.

The author's comments:

This is an essay about the meaning of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Veldt", and what he was trying to convey when he wrote it.

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