It’s Day 20 of the #A2ZChallenge. This year, I invite you to read and discuss short stories with me. Each day, I bring you a ‘Read of the Day,’ a short story in English, so that we can indulge in the joy of reading. You can visit my site daily for a short story with analysis and participate in the discussion in the comments.
Read of the Day
Today, we will read The Velds by Ray Bradbury. You can read the short story online here.
About the Author
Ray Bradbury was one of America’s most celebrated 20th-century authors and screenwriter. He’s most famous for his writings such as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, Green Shadows, and White Whale. Some of his popular shows include Moby Dick, and It Came from Outer Space. Bradbury is credited for bringing modern science fiction into mainstream literature.
The Velds by Ray Bradbury is a dystopian science fiction story that makes a surreal read in 2021.
The story is set in mid-century America and revolves around the Hadley family comprising the couple, George and Lydia, and their two children Peter and Wendy. The family lives in a futuristic home that’s fully automated. It comes with a nursery with a virtual reality room where the kids can embark on an adventure they like.
The story gets knotted in outrageous twists and turns, where the once happy family gets embroiled in one danger after the other. Do they survive or not? You’ll have to read the story to know more.
The Velds is a social commentary on technology, modern family, parenting, and society. It explores the possibilities of a world where machines replace human beings and when machines can think and act like human beings.
“But I thought that’s why we bought this house, so we wouldn’t have to do anything?”
“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. And it isn’t just me. It’s you. You’ve been awfully nervous lately.”
“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. You’re beginning to feel unnecessary too.”
“Am I?” He paused and tried to feel into himself to see what was really there.
It throws light upon the irony that machines, which were built to make human’s lives easier, can now control their creators. Humans who have always prided upon being the most superior species have serious competition in their own technological creations. Machines have enslaved and completely taken control of human beings. Especially, children who are immature and inexperienced in the ways of the world are easy prey for machines to control and manipulate. Talking of which, I loved the conclusion of this story as it had the forceful impact that’s needed for a subject of this nature.
Did you read The Velds by Ray Bradbury, and how did you find it?
* I’m participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge.