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
Saving the Game: When Technology Takes the Place of Human Life
Blog #1, Option 3
theme in Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt
focuses on one’s dependence on technology. Throughout the short story, the
Hadley family is constantly reminded of technology’s overwhelming presence in
their home, which eventually results in the death of the mother and father. Although
this story takes place in the undisclosed future, it is impossible to deny the role
that technology has in daily life. The
Veldt is essentially a warning; if technology replaces human interaction
and parenting, consequences can occur.
On March 8, 2013, 14-year-old Nathon
Brooks shot both his parents while they were sleeping in their Washington home.
According to Brooks, he played video games “24/7” and was enraged after being
grounded from them (Bennett-Smith). Surveillance cameras set up in the home
captured the teen with the murder weapon, and he is currently being tried as an
This situation is similar to that of
The Veldt. While the children in
Bradbury’s story get the technology to do the killing on their behalf, they
commit the crime intentionally and as an act of revenge on their parents. After
George and Lydia turned off the nursery, the children were hysterical. Peter
even tells his father “’I wish you were dead! (Bradbury)’”. Peter ultimately gets
his wish when his parents are eaten by the lions in the nursery.
When crimes like the one Brooks
committed occur, the media is quick to place the blame on violent video games. They
assume that players are so impressionable that they will imitate anything the
see. While violence in video games may desensitize a player from blood and
murder, it cannot make anyone do anything. The true reason these crimes occur
involves an addiction and dependency on the technology itself. When technology
becomes the most important thing in someone’s life, it becomes human to that
person. In The Veldt, Peter speaks “as
if talking to the house, the nursery (Bradbury)”. Nathon Brooks felt the same
way about his video games, even claiming that “he had wanted to kill his
parents for years (Bennett-Smith)”.
While there are obviously other
factors to consider in Brooks’ attempted murder of his parents, technology
played an important role. If he had not been so emotionally dependent on video
games, he would not have felt the need to murder for them. Reading The Veldt provides some insight to
Brooks’ rational. He probably felt that he was “saving” his technology from
being “killed” by his parents. In his mind, what he did was perfectly
Bradbury, Ray. “The Veldt.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New
York: The Penguin Group. 264-277.
Bennett-Smith, Meredith. "Nathon Brooks, Teen Who
Allegedly Shot Parents Over Video Games, Charged With Attempted Murder."
13 March 2013. Huffington Post.
2 September 2013.