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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ray Bradbury and Schwarzenegger

John Watson
Blog 1, Option #1
Intro to Fiction

            After reading Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt, I remembered the Terminator movies where cyborgs from the future were sending assassins, also cyborgs, to kill the leader of the human resistance, John Connor, in an effort to alter the course of history and to remove the one human who united the rest of the humans to fight against the machines. Of course, Wendy and Peter from The Veldt did not send Arnold Schwarzenegger to kill their parents, but the events of both of these stories resulted from the excessive misuse and overdependence on technology. Both Bradbury’s The Veldt and the Terminator movies share the Gothic Motif of strong moral closure because both present the message that relying too much on technology could have disastrous consequences. The reason why this particular Gothic Motif stood out to me was because Bradbury’s short story focused on how technology could have the potential to rule and dictate a person’s day to day lives and even lead young children to harbor such negative emotions towards their birth parents and yet at the same time, the children do not view these people as family. In The Veldt, the nursery and house “is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents,” meaning that the machine was taking George and Lydia’s role as Peter and Wendy’s parents (Bradbury, 274). 

           In the Terminator movies, the main emphasis was that the machines took over the humans because mankind relied too much on technology and that the technology forced the humans to bow down to the machines, whereas in the short story the process was not the technology forcefully controlling the humans, but rather the technology was slowly indoctrinating the humans to the point where they convince themselves that they cannot live without the nursery and the rest of the house. The result of overdependence of technology in both Ray Bradbury’s short story and the Terminator movies was that the main characters experienced violence where George and Lydia from The Veldt were killed and eaten by the lions whereas John Connor is the leader of the human resistance against the machines.

Bradbury, Ray, "The Veldt," American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 264-277.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator Wikia,, accessed on September 3, 2013.

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