Complex Thinking, a painting by Ivy Feild (grade 12)
One of the most persuasive authors in America throughout the mid 1950’s was Ray Bradbury, showing his stance on the dominating rise of technology. Born on August 22, 1920, Bradbury lived in an age where technology was making major advances around him. He lived in Hollywood as a young adult, where he wrote many scientific stories. It was not until a decade later, for Bradbury to emerge and become a well known author in America, with the change of his writing to inform his readers to be aware of the effects technology can have on society. With the technology continuing to advance throughout the 1900’s, this was the turning point in Bradbury’s writing to help shape his unique writing style to show the dangers of technology (Bradbury, Ray). Reading numerous stories including, “The Veldt”, helps the reader understand what Ray Bradbury stance on the negative effects of technology through his works of literature.
In Bradbury’s work, it was evident that it was shaped around the time period he lived upon and around his psychological issues, regarding the rise of technology. His belief was set with the early advances of technology in the 1950’s, and it shaped his writing to be anti technology.
Then with the major technological jump, technology has made right before his eyes he stated, “Monstrous creatures are created with misused technology” (Historical Context: Fahrenheit 451). With this, his pieces of literature explaining how technology can take over and dominate society, which is seen in “The Veldt” and “Fahrenheit 451”. He stood strong on his psychological stance on technology and just transmitted his ideas through his pieces of writing. “Bradbury’s lifelong love of books and his defense of the imagination against the menace of technology” (Bradbury, Ray). With Bradbury’s passion and love and desire for writing; he accomplished this by his special imagination and changing his style to write on a topic to advise his readers about the detrimental effects on technology. Bradbury also wrote his stories in a way to leave the reader with his clear message he wanted to send, with that being the negative impact technology has left on him.
Ray Bradbury conveyed his message through his unique writing style and the themes of his pieces of literature. With Bradbury making all these world renown pieces of literature, many authors say, “Bradbury is a rare find. He’s a unique writer in both his imagination and his language” (Riley). With his unorthodox style of writing, Bradbury proved to be one of the most talented writers of his time with this being shown in both his style and central message to the reader. “Themes have permeated all areas of American culture as have those of no other science-fiction writer—through more than five hundred stories” (Wolfe). Bradbury wrote about a current issue in society back then with that being the quick rise of technology in society. With the permeated theme, in most of his stories, the quick rise of technology negatively affects society.
“The Veldt”, was one of Bradbury’s most cherished pieces of literature, showing the obsession the children had with the virtual safari. This obsession later gets the children’s parents killed, by the ignorance of the kids to the parents. In this story it clearly shows that technology was something that the children hooked on and shows it took over the kids lives.“Bradbury warns that his writing technology can take over society” (Bradbury, Ray). Ray showed in his works, the message that technology had the power to take over society the world knows today, by just the simple misuse of it; and in “The Veldt” it states, “I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt?” (Bradbury). Bradbury showed how that technology overtook the humans and now it is in control of everything. This is the main message Bradbury urges the reader to understand, all the power technology can hold. Another one of Bradbury’s writing styles to back up the theme is his psychological stance on technology. With the story stating, “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” (Bradbury). Ray Bradbury shows through these eye opening lines, that even after death the technology will still keep going on and keep continuing to run and that he sees it is going to negatively impact the normal human way of life. “The nature of technology is more powerful than whatever man can create” (Riley). With Bradbury explaining technology is something far more powerful than man, it compares to numerous scenes in, “The Veldt”, stating technology is something that can last forever and out live man.
In all of Ray Bradbury’s works, including “The Veldt”, it contributes to his message on the negative impact of technology on the human way of life. With Bradbury expressing all of his concerns and warning in his influential pieces of literature. With “The Veldt” showing the consequences of society becoming too technologically advanced and letting it take over mankind. This is again all Bradbury was against and showed this in his writing through his style, theme, and most importantly his psychological stance in the beginning of the technology era. Ray Bradbury gave the reader his influential stance on technology; throughout his legendary writing career which still lives on through his words.
“Bradbury, Ray.” Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of American Literature, vol. 1, Gale, 2009, pp. 181-185. Gale In Context: High School, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3008100062/SUIC?u=plan95278&sid=bookmark-SUIC&xid=67ea16d8. Accessed 9 Feb. 2022.
“Historical Context: Fahrenheit 451.” EXPLORING Novels, Gale, 2003. Gale In Context: High School, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ2111500082/SUIC?u=plan95278&sid=bookmark-SUIC&xid=2fc9f829. Accessed 9 Feb. 2022.
Riley, Jenelle. “Ray Bradbury.” Gale In Context Online Collection, Gale, 2007. Gale In Context: High School, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ2181700210/SUIC?u=plan95278&sid=bookmark-SUIC&xid=bb4ca8fd. Accessed 14 Feb. 2022.
Wolfe, Gary K. “Ray Bradbury.” DISCovering Authors, Gale, 2003. Gale In Context: High School, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ2101201955/SUIC?u=plan95278&sid=bookmark-SUIC&xid=38651cfc. Accessed 14 Feb. 2022.