This site is devoted to finding the gothic in everyday life. The authors are TCU students enrolled in Ms. Kassia Waggoner's Intro to Literature: The American Gothic class for the fall of 2013. We will be dissecting common motifs found in our readings and searching for connections in pop-culture. Our goal is to demonstrate that gothic literature is applicable and relatable to our lives and society today.
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Monday, September 2, 2013
While reading Ray Bradbury’s short story The Veldt, I immediately saw similarities between the story and the Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House from 1999. In this movie, a family moves into a computerized house that begins to have a mind of its own. While there are some differences between these two, there are plenty of similarities. In The Veldt, the children, Peter and Wendy, are the ones that are controlling the technology in their nursery to fit their needs. In Smart House, the son Ben tries to reprogram the house to fit his needs—the needs of a mother. Both stories also have the underlying theme of the technology becoming a parent figure into their lives of the children. In The Veldt, Peter and Wendy no longer care about their parents. They have become so dependent on the nursery that their parents are no longer needed, as the nursery can provide them with all the love they need. "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 (Bradbury 274)." In Smart House, Ben attempts to reprogram the house so that it can become a mother to him, since his mother has passed away. One of the main differences in these two stories is the endings. While Smart House ends like every other Disney movie, with all problems being resolved and a happily ever after, The Veldt ends in a tragic death. One could say though that they both end in happily ever after (according to Peter and Wendy.)
One gothic motif that stuck out to me in both stories is Revenge. In The Veldt, the children take revenge on their parents for turning off the technology. In Smart House, it is the technology itself that takes revenge on the family that wants to shut down the house by locking them in the house and not letting them go. Even though these stories were written 50 years apart, their plots and themes are very similar and very relevant today.
Bradbury, Ray. "The Veldt." American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996.