The Veldt CommonLit Answers Key 2022 [FREE Access]


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The Veldt CommonLit Answers Key

Let us first read The Veldt passage and will answer at the end

THE VELDT
by Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), was an American author and screenwriter. Bradbury wrote in various genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction. In this short story, Mr. and Mrs. Hadley become concerned when they realize how important the machines of their futuristic home are to their children.

As you read, take notes on what the veldt means to the children and their parents.

“George, I wish you’d look at the nursery.” [1]

“What’s wrong with it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, then.”

“I just want you to look at it, is all, or call a

psychologist in to look at it.” [5]

“What would a psychologist want with a nursery?”

“You know very well what he’d want.” His wife paused in the middle of the kitchen and watched the stove busy humming to itself, making supper for four.

“It’s just that the nursery is different now than it was.”

“All right, let’s have a look.”

They walked down the hall of their soundproofed Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them. [10]

Their approach sensitized a switch somewhere and the nursery light flicked on when they came within ten feet of it. Similarly, behind them, in the halls, lights went on and off as they left them behind, with a soft automaticity.

“Well,” said George Hadley.

They stood on the thatched floor of the nursery. It was forty feet across by forty feet long and thirty feet high; it had cost half again as much as the rest of the house.

“But nothing’s too good for our children,” George had said.

The nursery was silent. It was empty as a jungle glade at hot high noon. The walls were blank and two-dimensional. Now, as George and Lydia Hadley stood in the center of the room, the walls began to purr and recede into crystalline distance, it seemed, and presently an African veldt appeared, in three dimensions, on all sides, in color reproduced to the final pebble and bit of straw. The ceiling above them became a deep sky with a hot yellow sun.

George Hadley felt the perspiration start on his brow. [15]

“Let’s get out of this sun,” he said. “This is a little too real. But I don’t see anything
wrong.”

“Wait a moment, you’ll see,” said his wife

Now the hidden odorophonics were beginning to blow a wind of odor at the two people in the middle of the baked veld land. The hot straw smell of lion grass, the cool green smell of the hidden water hole, the great rusty smell of animals, the smell of dust like a red paprika in the hot air. And now the sounds: the thump of distant antelope feet on grassy sod, the papery rustling of vultures. A shadow passed through the sky. The shadow flickered on George Hadley’s upturned, sweating face.

“Filthy creatures,” he heard his wife say.

“The vultures.” [20]

“You see, there are the lions, far over, that way. Now they’re on their way to the water hole. They’ve just been eating,” said Lydia. “I don’t know what.”

“Some animal.” George Hadley put his hand up to shield off the burning light from his squinted eyes. “A zebra or a baby giraffe, maybe.”

“Are you sure?” His wife sounded peculiarly tense.

“No, it’s a little late to be sure,” he said, amused. “Nothing over there I can see but cleaned bone, and the vultures dropping for what’s left.”

“Did you hear that scream?” she asked. [25]

“No.”

“About a minute ago?”

“Sorry, no.

The lions were coming. And again George Hadley was filled with admiration for the mechanical genius who had conceived this room. A miracle of efficiency selling for an absurdly low price. Every home should have one. Oh, occasionally they frightened you with their clinical accuracy, they startled you, gave you a twinge, but most of the time what fun for everyone, not only your own son and daughter, but for
yourself when you felt like a quick jaunt to a foreign land, a quick change of scenery. Well, here it was!

And here were the lions now, fifteen feet away, so real, so feverishly and startlingly real that you could feel the prickling fur on your hand, and your mouth was stuffed with the dusty upholstery smell of their heated pelts, and the yellow of them was in your eyes like the yellow of an exquisite French tapestry, the yellows of lions and summer grass, and the sound of the matted lion lungs exhaling on the silent noontide, and the smell of meat from the panting, dripping mouths. The lions stood looking at George and Lydia Hadley with terrible green-yellow eyes. [30]

“Watch out!” screamed Lydia.

The lions came running at them. Lydia bolted and ran. Instinctively, George sprang after her. Outside, in the hall, with the door slammed he was laughing and she was crying, and they both stood appalled at the other’s reaction.

“George!”

“Lydia! Oh, my dear poor sweet Lydia!”

“They almost got us!” [35]

“Walls, Lydia, remember; crystal walls, that’s all they are. Oh, they look real, I must admit — Africa in your parlor — but it’s all dimensional, super reactionary, supersensitive color film and mental tape film behind glass screens. It’s all odorophonics and sonics, Lydia. Here’s my handkerchief.”

“I’m afraid.” She came to him and put her body against him and cried steadily. “Did you see? Did you feel? It’s too real.”

“Now, Lydia…”

“You’ve got to tell Wendy and Peter not to read any more on Africa.”

“Of course — of course.” He patted her.

“Promise?”

“Sure.”

“And lock the nursery for a few days until I get my nerves settled.”

“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.” [45]
“All right.” Reluctantly he locked the huge door. “You’ve been working too hard. You need a rest.”

“I don’t know — I don’t know,” she said, blowing her nose, sitting down in a chair that immediately began to rock and comfort her. “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 and take a vacation?”

“You mean you want to fry my eggs for me?”

“Yes.” She nodded.

“And mend my socks?” [50]

“Yes.” A frantic, watery-eyed nodding.

“And sweep the house?”

“Yes, yes — oh, yes!”

“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.”[55]

“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 11 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.  “Oh, George!” She looked beyond him, at the nursery door.

“Those lions can’t get out of there, can they?”

He looked at the door and saw it tremble as if something had jumped against it from the other side. [60]

“Of course not,” he said.

At dinner they ate alone, for Wendy and Peter were at a special plastic carnival across town and had televised home to say they’d be late, to go ahead eating. So George Hadley, bemused, sat watching the dining-room 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.

As for the nursery, thought George Hadley, it won’t hurt for the children to be locked out of it awhile. Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone. And it was clearly indicated that the children had been spending a little too much time in Africa. That sun. He could feel it on his neck, still, like a hot paw. And the lions. And the smell of blood. Remarkable how the nursery caught the telepathic emanations of the children’s minds and created life to fill their every desire. The children thought of lions, and there were lions. The children thought of zebras, and there were zebras. Sun — sun. Giraffes — giraffes. Death and death. [65]

That last. He chewed tastelessly on the meat that the table had cut for him. Death thoughts. They were awfully young, Wendy and Peter, for death thoughts. Or, no, you were never too young, really. Long before you knew what death was you were wishing it on someone else. When you were two years old you were shooting people with cap pistols.

But this — the long, hot African veldt. The awful death in the jaws of a lion. And repeated again and again.

“Where are you going?”

He didn’t answer Lydia. Preoccupied, he let the lights glow softly on ahead of him, extinguish behind him as he padded to the nursery door. He listened against it. Far away, a lion roared. He unlocked the door and opened it. Just before he stepped inside, he heard a faraway scream. And then another roar from the lions, which subsided quickly. He stepped into Africa. How many times in the last year had he opened this door and found Wonderland, Alice, the Mock Turtle, or Aladdin and his Magical Lamp, or Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, or Dr. Doolittle, or the cow jumping over a very real-appearing moon. All the delightful contraptions of a make-believe world. How often had he seen Pegasus flying in the sky ceiling, or seen fountains of red fireworks, or heard angel voices singing.

But now, is yellow hot Africa, this bake oven with murder in the heat. Perhaps Lydia was right. Perhaps they needed a little vacation from the fantasy which was growing a bit too real for ten-year-old children. It was all right to exercise one’s mind with gymnastic fantasies, but when the lively child mind settled on one pattern…? It seemed that, at a distance, for the past month, he had heard lions roaring, and smelled their strong odor seeping as far away as his study door. But, being busy, he had paid it no attention. [70]

George Hadley stood on the African grassland alone. The lions looked up from their feeding, watching him. The only flaw to the illusion was the open door through which he could see his wife, far down the dark hall, like a framed picture, eating her dinner abstractedly.

“Go away,” he said to the lions.

They did not go.

He knew the principle of the room exactly. You sent out your thoughts. Whatever you thought would appear. “Let’s have Aladdin and his lamp,” he snapped. The veldtland remained; the lions remained.

“Come on, room! I demand Aladdin!” he said. [75]

Nothing happened. The lions mumbled in their baked pelts.

“Aladdin!”

He went back to dinner. “The fool room’s out of order,” he said. “It won’t respond.”

“Or —”

“Or what?” [80]

“Or it can’t respond,” said Lydia, “because the children have thought about Africa and lions and killing so many days that the room’s in a rut.”

“Could be.”

“Or Peter’s set it to remain that way.”

“Set it?”

“He may have got into the machinery and fixed something.” [85]

“Peter doesn’t know machinery.”

“He’s a wise one for ten. That I.Q. of his —”

“Nevertheless —”

“Hello, Mom. Hello, Dad.”

The Hadleys turned. Wendy and Peter were coming in the front door, cheeks like peppermint candy, eyes like bright blue agate marbles, a smell of ozone on their jumpers from their trip in the helicopter. “You’re just in time for supper,” said both parents. [90]

“We’re full of strawberry ice cream and hot dogs,” said the children, holding hands.

“But we’ll sit and watch.”

“Yes, come tell us about the nursery,” said George Hadley.

The brother and sister blinked at him and then at each other.

“Nursery?”

“All about Africa and everything,” said the father with false joviality. [95] 19

“I don’t understand,” said Peter.

“Your mother and I were just traveling through Africa with rod and reel; Tom Swift

and his Electric Lion,” said George Hadley.

“There’s no Africa in the nursery,” said Peter simply.

“Oh, come now, Peter. We know better.”

“I don’t remember any Africa,” said Peter to Wendy. “Do you?” [100]

“No.”

“Run see and come tell.”

She obeyed.

“Wendy, come back here!” said George Hadley, but she was gone. The house lights followed her like a flock of fireflies. Too late, he realized he had forgotten to lock the nursery door after his last inspection.

“Wendy’ll look and come tell us,” said Peter. [105]

“She doesn’t have to tell me. I’ve seen it.”

“I’m sure you’re mistaken, Father.”

“I’m not, Peter. Come along now.”

But Wendy was back. “It’s not Africa,” she said breathlessly.

“We’ll see about this,” said George Hadley, and they all walked down the hall together and opened the nursery door. [110]

There was a green, lovely forest, a lovely river, a purple mountain, high voices singing, and Rima, lovely and mysterious, lurking in the trees with colorful flights of butterflies, like animated bouquets, lingering in her long hair. The African veld land was gone. The lions were gone. Only Rima was here now, singing a song so beautiful that it brought tears to your eyes.

George Hadley looked in at the changed scene. “Go to bed,” he said to the children.

They opened their mouths.

“You heard me,” he said.

They went off to the air closet, where a wind sucked them like brown leaves up the flue to their slumber rooms.

George Hadley walked through the singing glade and picked up something that lay in the corner near where the lions had been. He walked slowly back to his wife. [115]

“What is that?” she asked.

“An old wallet of mine,” he said.

He showed it to her. The smell of hot grass was on it and the smell of a lion. There were drops of saliva on it, it had been chewed, and there were blood smears on both sides. He closed the nursery door and locked it, tight.

In the middle of the night, he was still awake and he knew his wife was awake.

“Do you think Wendy changed it?” she said at last, in the dark room. [120]

“Of course.”

“Made it from a veldt into a forest and put Rima there instead of lions?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. But it’s staying locked until I find out.” [125]

“How did your wallet get there?”

“I don’t know anything,” he said, “except that I’m beginning to be sorry we bought that room for the children. If children are neurotic 22 at all, a room like that —”

“It’s supposed to help them work off their neuroses in a healthful way.”

“I’m starting to wonder.” He stared at the ceiling.

“We’ve given the children everything they ever wanted. Is this our reward — secrecy, disobedience?” [130]

“Who was it said, ‘Children are carpets, they should be stepped on occasionally’?

We’ve never lifted a hand. They’re insufferable — let’s admit it. They come and go when they like; they treat us as if we were offspring. They’re spoiled and we’re spoiled.”

“They’ve been acting funny ever since you forbade them to take the rocket to New York a few months ago.”

“They’re not old enough to do that alone, I explained.”

“Nevertheless, I’ve noticed they’ve been decidedly cool toward us since.”

“I think I’ll have David McClean come tomorrow morning to have a look at Africa.” [135]

“But it’s not Africa now, it’s Green Mansions country and Rima.”

“I have a feeling it’ll be Africa again before then.”

A moment later they heard the screams.

Two screams. Two people screaming from downstairs. And then a roar of lions.

“Wendy and Peter aren’t in their rooms,” said his wife. [140]

He lay in his bed with his beating heart. “No,” he said. “They’ve broken into the nursery.”

“Those screams — they sound familiar.”

“Do they?”

“Yes, awfully.”

And although their beds tried very hard, the two adults couldn’t be rocked to sleep for another hour. A smell of cats was in the night air. [145]

“Father?” said Peter.

“Yes.”

Peter looked at his shoes. He never looked at his father any more, nor at his mother.

“You aren’t going to lock up the nursery for good, are you?”

“That all depends.”

“On what?” snapped Peter. [150]

“On you and your sister. If you intersperse this Africa with a little variety — oh, Sweden perhaps, or Denmark or China…”

“I thought we were free to play as we wished.”

“You are, within reasonable bounds.”

“What’s wrong with Africa, Father?”

“Oh, so now you admit you have been conjuring up Africa, do you?” [155]

“I wouldn’t want the nursery locked up,” said Peter coldly. “Ever.”

“Matter of fact, we’re thinking of turning the whole house off for about a month.

Live sort of a carefree one-for-all existence.”

“That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?”

“It would be fun for a change, don’t you think?”

“No, it would be horrid. I didn’t like it when you took out the picture painter last month.”[160]

“That’s because I wanted you to learn to paint all by yourself, son.”

“I don’t want to do anything but look and listen and smell; what else is there to do?”

“All right, go play in Africa.”

“Will you shut off the house sometime soon?”

“We’re considering it.” [165]

“I don’t think you’d better consider it any more, Father.”

“I won’t have any threats from my son!”

“Very well.” And Peter strolled off to the nursery.

“Am I on time?” said David McClean.

“Breakfast?” asked George Hadley. [170]

“Thanks, had some. What’s the trouble?”

“David, you’re a psychologist.”

“I should hope so.”

“Well, then, have a look at our nursery. You saw it a year ago when you dropped by; did you notice anything peculiar about it then?”

“Can’t say I did; the usual violences, a tendency toward a slight paranoia here or there, usual in children because they feel persecuted by parents constantly, but, oh, really nothing.” [175]

They walked down the hall. “I locked the nursery up,” explained the father, “and the children broke back into it during the night. I let them stay so they could form the patterns for you to see.”

There was a terrible screaming from the nursery.

“There it is,” said George Hadley. “See what you make of it.”

They walked in on the children without rapping. The screams had faded. The lions were feeding. [180]

“Run outside a moment, children,” said George Hadley. “No, don’t change the mental combination. Leave the walls as they are. Get!”

With the children gone, the two men stood studying the lions clustered at a distance, eating with great relish whatever it was they had caught.

“I wish I knew what it was,” said George Hadley. “Sometimes I can almost see. Do you think if I brought high-powered binoculars here and —”

David McClean laughed dryly. “Hardly.” He turned to study all four walls. “How long has this been going on?”

“A little over a month.” [185]

“It certainly doesn’t feel good.”

“I want facts, not feelings.”

“My dear George, a psychologist never saw a fact in his life. He only hears about feelings; vague things. This doesn’t feel good, I tell you. Trust my hunches and my instincts. I have a nose for something bad. This is very bad. My advice to you is to have the whole d— room torn down and your children brought to me every day during the next year for treatment.”

“Is it that bad?”

“I’m afraid so. One of the original uses of these nurseries was so that we could study the patterns left on the walls by the child’s mind, study at our leisure, and help the child. In this case, however, the room has become a channel toward destructive thoughts, instead of a release away from them.”[190]

“Didn’t you sense this before?”

“I sensed only that you had spoiled your children more than most. And now you’re letting them down in some way. What way?”

“I wouldn’t let them go to New York.”

“What else?”

“I’ve taken a few machines from the house and threatened them, a month ago, with closing up the nursery unless they did their homework. I did close it for a few days to show I meant business.” [195]

“Ah, ha!”

“Does that mean anything?”

“Everything. Where before they had a Santa Claus now they have a Scrooge. Children prefer Santas. You’ve let this room and this house replace you and ... [CONTINUE READING FROM MAIN SITE ITSELF]

The veldt CommonLit Answers Key

Let us now discuss CommonLit The Veldt answers to the questions asked:

 

Q1. PART A: Which of the following best identifies one of the themes of the text?

Ans: When parents spoil their children, it can have irreversible consequences.

 

Q2. PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Part A?

Ans: “‘Where before they had a Santa Claus now they have a Scrooge. Children prefer Santas. You’ve let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections.'” (Paragraph 198)

 

Q3. What is the meaning of the phrase “‘Children are carpets, they should be stepped on occasionally'” (Paragraph 131)?

Ans: Parents should discipline their children.

 

Q4. PART A: Which of the following best describes the children’s relationship with the nursery?

They love it in the way that they should love their parents.

 

Q5. PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Part A?

Ans: “‘This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents.'” (Paragraph 198)

 

Q6. What does the detail “He never looked at his father anymore, nor at his mother” reveal about Peter in paragraph 148?

Ans: He no longer respects his parents.

 

Q7. How do paragraphs 69-70 develop readers’ understanding of the children?

Ans: In these paragraphs, the reader begins to understand that the children are obsessed with the nursery, particularly with the veldt, and that their obsession is dangerous. In paragraph 70, it says, “Perhaps Lydia was right. Perhaps they needed a little vacation from the fantasy which was growing a bit too real for ten-year-old children. It was all right to exercise one’s mind with gymnastic fantasies, but when the lively child mind settled on one pattern…?” The children’s fixation on the veldt scene and the nursery was becoming a problem.

 

Q8. What does the quote “He could feel it on his neck, still, like a hot paw” reveal about Mr. Hadley’s memory of the veldt (Paragraph 65)?

Ans: It reveals that Mr. Hadley remembers the veldt vividly. “That sun. He could feel it on his neck, still, like a hot paw. And the lions. And the smell of blood.” ( paragraph 65). He still remembers small details, as if they were real. This is when he begins to notice that something is wrong.

 

Discussion Questions With Answers

Q9. What do you believe it means to be “spoiled”? How could parents spoiling their children negatively affect children’s development?

Ans: When parents spoil their children they negatively affect their development by having them self-centered. When a child is spoiled they become self-centers they become ruthless and do not know how to work for things. If I were to spoil my son and not teach him how to earn and win those things he’ll assume that in life you will get everything you wish for and it is not true. Spoiling kids would make them see things easier and not hardworking and they will become lazy and never want to work for their stuff and will assume everything will be given whenever they want it.

 

Q10. In the context of the text, how is the Hadley family impacted by their use of technology? Does technology in your home impact your relationship with your family? Why or why not? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Technology in Hadley’s home and my home impacts us by having less communication and becoming less productive and active. In my home, we do not talk much and we send each other text messages when it comes to needing one or another. Being attached to technology can leave them isolated and not have any social skills and also not be more active. In other words, most of society depend on technology to do their everyday life activities and take the credit only themselves and it can affect them because then they do not become fit not social and communication dies.

 

Q11. How does Ray Bradbury’s story explore some of the risks of technology? How do you think humans can develop a healthy and balanced relationship with technology? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Ans: I do not think humans can develop a healthy and balanced relationship with technology due to that technology will not always be there for them. I say this because when technology services go down who will they depend on after they have been depending on technology only and not be active just to be ready whenever a situation like systems goes down and etc. When you also think about it; if life depends on technology right now everything that is known to be alive right now will end up dying like the movie Walle everyone depends on robots and technology and they become really lazy in the natural environment. If we also depend on technology we will just think that the technology will do our work and we won’t have to do anything and then if the systems go down we won’t know what to do because just put our mindsets to the technology.

 

Q12. In the context of the text, what should the future look like? How do you think Ray Bradbury would feel about how much humans rely on technology today? How do you feel about how much we rely on technology? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Ans: We have been relying on technology more and more throughout time and it is making us look lazier everything time. There are new vehicles being made that can be controlled by a controller because nowadays vehicles are just basically computers on wheels. In the future, if humanity actually succeeds with technology the future will be technology all computers everywhere you look. Ray Bradbury would feel that humanity relies too much on technology like robots that can do your own work and homework leaving us safe but lazy at the same time. This is why technology should not have relied on too much because you may never know the effect it will have against us.

 

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