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Ray Bradbury (1950) THE VELDT
RAY BRADBURY BACKGROUND � Ray Bradbury: a master of science fiction whose imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own post-war America.
1950 S SOCIETY � Following the horrors of the War (atomic bomb, mass produced weapons and machinery) many people were wary about technology. � During the 1950 s ‘white appliances’ (hoovers, fridges, TVs, dishwashers etc…) were being mass produced and sold. http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=MB 7 asgc. OXB 4 � ‘The Veldt’ is a story that deals with what could happen if we give technology too much power in our lives- a very topical issue in today’s society!
DISCUSSION � How often do you use technology? � Watch the following clip http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Z 7 d. LU 6 fk 9 QY � Fold a jotter page in half. On one column detail the advantages of technology and on the other the disadvantages.
LET’S READ! � Let’s Watch! � http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=uh. Of. CN 7 x. Rc
CHARACTERISATION � George Hadley� Traditionally 1950 s men would have ruled their family. George, however, seems weak and inefficient. He thinks that he has done the best thing for his family by providing endless technology yet it is the thing that destroys them. By the end of the story George does try to exert some control over his children but it is too latehe has been replaced by technology in his children’s eyes.
GEORGE HADLEY- QUOTATIONS � Highlight/ underline anything said by/ about George that you feel is important in understanding his character. � i. e. “"But nothing's too good for our children, " George had said. ” � Analysis- George genuinely believes that he is providing for his family and giving his children the best. He has bought into the idea behind the technology yet is too preoccupied to see the potential for harm.
"You know how difficult Peter is about that. When I punished him a month ago by locking the nursery for even a few hours - the tantrum he threw! And Wendy too. They live for the nursery. " "It's got to be locked, that's all there is to it. " "All right. " Reluctantly he locked the huge door. � This suggests that George lacks control over his family. Wendy and Peter seem to have authority over their father and influence the decisions he makes. He wants to avoid confrontation which his children rather than take control.
� "I suppose I have been smoking too much. " "You look as if you didn't know what to do with yourself in this house, either. You smoke a little more every morning and drink a little more every afternoon and need a little more sedative every night. ” George appears to struggling to adjust to modern life and has to drug himself in order to cope with day to day life.
� It seemed that, at a distance, for the past month, he had heard lions roaring, and smelled their strong odour seeping as far away as his study door. But, being busy, he had paid it no attention. � “Seeping" suggests the sinister way in which the children had become obsessed with the African Veldt. George, however, was too busy working and allowing the nursery to do his job- parenting - to notice that Peter and Wendy had become obsessed.
� "You're just in time for supper, " said both parents. "We're full of strawberry ice cream and hot dogs, " said the children, holding hands. The children do not rely upon their parents for even their most basic needs like food. Family structure- sitting eating dinner together- has diminished in this technological world.
“I don't remember any Africa, " said Peter to Wendy. "Do you? " "No. " "Run see and come tell. " She obeyed "Wendy, come back here!" said George Hadley, but she was gone. ” � Peter is the dominant male of the family. Wendy responds to his orders over her fathers. The children have little respect for George.
� “I'm beginning to be sorry we bought that room for the children. ” � Although George had been in awe of technology at the beginning of the story he is starting to realise the potential for harm and fears the room. He has no idea why his wallet was in the nursery and believed his children are more advanced users of the technology and therefore more powerful than him.
� “They come and go when they like; they treat us as if we were offspring. They're spoiled and we're spoiled. “ � Offspring is another term for child which suggests that the children act in a dominant way towards their parents. The children have been spoiled by their parents but the whole family had been spoiled by technology.
� “This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. ” � Technology has become so integral in this futuristic society that the unimaginable has happened…children no longer neer nor want affections, love or basic care from their parents. Family structure has collapsed.
� “Mr. and Mrs. Hadley screamed. And suddenly they realized why those other screams had sounded familiar. ” The children had been fantasising about their parents death at the hands of the lions. The intense heat represented their hatred for the parents who gave them everything. The destructive way in which their parents were destroyed highlights the violent ends the children would go to in order to protect the technology their lives revolved around.
CREATING OUR QUOTATION BANKS � Based on our class study of George, complete the quotations/ analysis maps for Lydia and Peter and Wendy. � Remember to select the most interesting quotations and include some explanation of the quotations and why you found it to be of importance.
THINKING ABOUT THEME � The ‘theme’ of a story is the main message the author wants the readers to consider. � 1) In pairs, discuss what Bradbury’s main message is in this story. � 2) Skim read through the story, highlighting any quotations that you think make this message clear.
THE DANGERS OF TECHNOLOGY Quotation “His wife paused in the middle of the kitchen and watched the stove busy humming to itself, making supper four. ” “A miracle of efficiency selling for an absurdly low price. Every home should have one. ” "Walls, Lydia, remember; crystal walls, that's all they are. It's all odorophonics and sonics, Lydia. ” "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? ” “So George Hadley, bemused, sat watching the diningroom table produce warm dishes of food from its mechanical interior. "We forgot the ketchup, " he said. "Sorry, " said a small voice within the table, and ketchup appeared. ” "Matter of fact, we're thinking of turning the whole house off for about a month. Live sort of a carefree onefor-all existence. " "That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush Analysis
THE DANGERS OF TECHNOLOGY Quotation "I don't want to do anything but look and listen and smell; what else is there to do? " “You've let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children's affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents. And now you come along and want to shut it off. No wonder there's hatred here. ” “Why, you'd starve tomorrow if something went wrong in your kitchen. You wouldn't know how to tap an egg. Nevertheless, turn everything off. Start new. It'll take time. ” "What? " "- that they could become real? " "Not that I know. " "Some flaw in the machinery, a tampering or something? " "No. " The house was full of dead bodies, it seemed. It felt like a mechanical cemetery. So silent. None of the humming hidden energy of machines waiting to function at the tap of a button. Analysis
STRUCTURING A CRITICAL ESSAY � Carefully � Choose Read the Critical essay question. a novel or a short story with a message which is still relevant today. � Show the author’s portrayal of events and character(s) highlight the author’s message.
INTRODUCTION � T. A. R. T � Title- ‘The Veldt’ � Author- Ray Bradbury � Relate to question- message still relevant today. � Theme- Over reliance on technology.
EXAMPLE � ‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury is a harrowing tale that deals with the extent to which we rely on technology. Written in the 1950 s when the mass production of items such as televisions was new, Bradbury captures a fear of how much people could come to depend upon such goods. This is a theme which is equally significant in today’s society where people are accused of being dominated by computers, mobile telephones and other electronic devices.
MAIN BODY PARAGRAPHS �We will create PEAR paragraphs. �Point �Evidence �Analyse �Relate to question
EXAMPLE � � Similarly to parents today, George thinks that he is giving his children the best opportunities by allowing them access to new technology. “"But nothing's too good for our children, " George had said. ” � George genuinely believes that he is providing for his family and giving his children the best. He has bought into the idea behind the technology yet is too preoccupied to see the potential for harm. � This is a current theme in today’s society as many parents endorse the educational purposes of technology yet do not realise the addictive qualities such devices have on young people.
TASK! � P- Peter seems to suffer from extreme withdrawal symptoms when his father takes away his access to the nursery. � E- "You know how difficult Peter is about that. When I punished him a month ago by locking the nursery for even a few hours - the tantrum he threw! � A- � R- � Complete this PEAR paragraph.
TASK! � P- � E- It seemed that, at a distance, for the past month, he had heard lions roaring, and smelled their strong odour seeping as far away as his study door. But, being busy, he had paid it no attention. � A- “Seeping" suggests the sinister way in which the children had become obsessed with the African Veldt. George, however, was too busy working and allowing the nursery to do his job- parenting- to notice that Peter and Wendy had become obsessed. � R- � Copy and complete this PEAR.
COMPLETING THE ESSAY � In this essay we will aim to have 7 PEAR paragraphs. � You already have 3. � Select a further 4 quotations from your grid/ mind maps that you feel are relevant to this essay question. � Complete these PEAR paragraphs individually. � Remember to analyse in as much detail as possible and clearly link back to the essay question. � You will need a conclusion that reiterates the wording of the essay question.
PEER ASSESSMENT � Read through your partner’s critical essay and comment upon the following: Is there an introduction, 7 PEAR paragraphs and a conclusion? � Is each paragraph introduced with a clear point? � Have relevant quotations been selected? � Does your partner analyse these quotations in depth? � Has your partner linked all of their comments back to the essay question? �
TIMED CRITICAL ESSAY � Now that you understand the structure of a critical essay you must prepare to write one under timed conditions. � In the exam you will have 45 minutes to produce a critical evaluation to an unseen question.
CREATING QUOTATION CARDS � Select 10 quotations that you find to be highly important from the grid & mind maps. � They should be quotations that really help you to understand Bradbury’s theme. � Write the quotation on one side of the card provided. � Bullet point your analysis on the opposite side of the card. � Homework- Learn these quotations and analysis.
TIMED CRITICAL ESSAY QUESTION � Choose a novel or a short story which deals with the effects of evil or war or deceit or a breakdown in society or a breakdown in relationship(s). � Show any of these negative pressures affects the main character in the novel or short story and go on to show whether or not she or he tackles it successfully.