I found the feeling and emotion that I immediately had when reading “The Veldt” to be incredibly interesting. I’m not sure if it were the wording or the futuristic, dystopian vibe that got to me, but I was on edge within a paragraph of the short story. I related the feeling to when I watch the show Black Mirror on Netflix as some of the episodes depict this futuristic idea that on paper should be a great thing but it turns out to be the exact opposite and the characters face a negative effect. This is exactly what happens to Lydia and and George when they made the decision to spend their money on a smart house and a room full of technology that is solely meant for children to cope with their emotions. It is the idea that society constantly grows and evolves with technology when there are moments that do not need to be replaced. I think that George’s breaking point of wanting the house turned off and Lydia’s panic of wanting to do things herself are such a vital part of the story because it helped personify the technology of the house and portray it as the enemy. I loved the line that turning off the house felt like dead bodies everywhere as it accentuated how much this family, and I am sure many like them, relied on the house to perform daily chores and keep them alive. But then it makes me wonder, no matter how personified it became, the technology, its actions, its moods, all need a driving force that made it act that way. I mean, the house was not born, right? Therefore someone created it and gave it the purpose of performing for its owner. This is where we are introduced to the way the children’s minds have been warped to getting what they want when they want it and how they interact with the nursery shows just how impulsive they are with their emotions. Their parents have allowed them to be irresponsible for daily chores, for self care, for learning how to grow mentally; and now they have a dependence on a room to produce their creativity for them. It’s scary to me to not even question that this situation could be our future and how these children didn’t give a second thought to killing their parents with their morbid thoughts just because the parents wanted to turn off the nursery. Does anyone else think that kids should be given this amount of power and luxury before they are able to mature enough mentally to know how to handle it? Also, do you think that if a child is going to grow to be so dependent on something, that they should be allowed to be dependent on something that isn’t alive (technology, this nursery, etc.)?
I read “There Will Come Soft Rains” after the first story which I appreciated the order because the first story felt dystopian and this story felt apocalyptic. It seemed almost as a sequence if this story did not have a different character’s name than the first story. I found this story to be interesting as I could visualize if it were a cinematic version, seeing a camera slowly move through a room to reveal that each room of the house was completely empty of life while the technologically advanced house still worked daily to take care of a family no longer living. It felt so isolating and was exaggerated by the description that it was the only standing house in a city of rubble. I understood that this house was programmed to function for the family that lived there and not just any life which can be seen when the ill dog whines at the door and the house openly welcomes it inside even though it scares off other creatures, like birds, from being near it. The house is almost personified in this story and gave me the feeling of endearment and care for its family that will never return as it wanted to care for the family pet that has deteriorated on its own. I love stories, novels, shows, etc. that depict an abandoned area like this house and really liked the visuals that it gave me when reading details such as the garage door opening then closing when nobody got the car or how the house picked the owner’s favorite poem when no poem was requested. Its purpose was to serve the family that lived there and now that it seems that humanity is gone, the house is still functioning in its normal programmed day even though it isn’t caring for anyone anymore. Does it seem like, if emotions were possible for this house, that it is holding out hope that its family will return so it can continue serving? Lastly, I also appreciated the nod to the previous story by talking about the nursery changing to children’s hour and that the fire was capable of spreading into the world created in the nursery just as the couple in the previous story was capable of being killed by the nursery images.