“The Veldt” Socratic Seminar Questions

“The Veldt” Socratic Seminar Questions
1. What aspects of contemporary family life do the “Happylife Home” and nursery
satirize? What have the Hadleys purchased for their home and what do the
amenities of “Happylife Home” offer them?
2. In what ways has the house infantilized (to treat like a child) the Hadleys? How
does Bradbury depict this as dangerous?
3. Have you noticed the allusion to Peter Pan? How is Wendy’s name ironic in this
story? Why does Peter’s name fit?
4. Discuss the way Peter addresses his father changes throughout the story. What
might explain his word choice in certain situations?
5. Do Lydia and George view the nursery the same way? How do their views
change over the course of the story?
6. This story is in many ways also a classic Gothic horror story (which often portray
“sick” houses and/or families). What clues are readers given throughout the story
that something “very bad” (to quote David McClean) is going on in the nursery?
7. How is childhood represented in this story? What are the effects of the house
and nursery on the children? In what ways does Bradbury depict these effects as
dangerous (to the children, to society)?
8. What does the story suggest as the source of the children’s murderous hatred for
their parents? How are George and Lydia shown to have failed their children?
9. Try to explain one of the following:
a. George’s chewed wallet in the nursery
b. Lydia’s bloody scarf
c. Screams that sound familiar
10. How is this story’s depiction of imagination, and the “uses” of fantasy/imagination
by children, different than (or similar to) other texts we have read?
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