Although written over 60 years ago, the “The Veldt” by science fiction writer Ray Bradbury raises some interesting points about how we live our lives today. After reading the story, stop and ask yourself how many people you know seem to be building their whole lives around Facebook, YouTube and their computer or i-whatever; just like the children and their high technology play room in Bradbury’s HappyLife home. So how about we all turn off our computers, get up, and go outside and do something different with family or friends.
English Learner Vocabulary Help
There is also a word that is in our Pre-Intermediate word list but has a meaning in the story which is different to the one most commonly used. We are told that the beds in the house rocked the people to sleep. This has nothing to do with hitting them over the head. As a , the word means to move someone or something gently backwards and forwards or from side to side.
(n: breath pl breaths) The air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs. His breath smells like garlic. 3000
(idiom: hold your breath) To stop breathing for a short time, such as when you dive into water.
(idiom: take a deep breath) To take a lot of air into your lungs.
(n: butterfly pl butterflies) An insect that has a long thin body and brightly colored wings and flies mostly during the day. 4000
(n: ceiling pl ceilings) The inside surface at the top of a room. 3000
(n: comfort, noncount) A pleasant condition of being physically or mentally relaxed, happy, warm etc. They now live in comfort. (n: pl comforts) Something that provides a little luxury, or makes one feel happier, or better able to bear misfortune. He enjoyed the comforts of the hotel.
(v: comforts, comforted, comforting) To cause (someone) to feel less worried, upset, frightened, etc.; to give comfort to (someone). She did her best to comfort the crying child. 2000
(n: dimension pl dimensions) A measurement in length, width, height, or depth. 3000
(n: dust, noncount) A fine powder made up of very small pieces of earth, sand, etc. The furniture was covered in dust.
(adj: dusty; dustier, dustiest) Filled or covered with dust. He cleaned the dusty shelf. 2000
(adj: emotional) 1. Of feelings, such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear. Emotional problems are affecting her work. 2. Causing a person to feel or show emotion. He gave an emotional farewell speech. 3. Likely to show or express emotion; easily upset, excited, etc. He's a very emotional person. 2000
(adj: familiar) 1. Frequently seen, heard, or experienced. 2. Used to describe someone who is too friendly and not respectful. 2000
(n: giraffe pl giraffes) A very tall African animal with a very long neck, long legs and spots. (ยีราฟ) 10000
(n: hall pl halls) 1. A room or passage at the entrance to a house. (ทางเข้าประตู) 2. A long, narrow passage inside a building with doors that lead to rooms on each side; also called a hallway or corridor (ทางเดินยาวนตึก) 1000
(n: handkerchief pl handkerchiefs or handkerchieves) A small usually square piece of cloth used for wiping your face, nose, or eyes. (ผ้าเช็ดหน้า) 4000
(adj:ˈhorrible) 1. Causing horror; frightening; dreadful. A horrible sight. (น่าเกลียดน่ากลัว) 2. Very bad or unpleasant. What a horrible day! (ไม่น่ายินดี) 2000
(v: imagine, imagines, imagined, imagining) To form a picture of something in your mind that is not there or not real. (จินตนาการ)
(n: imagination pl imaginations) 1. The ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things. You can find a solution if you use a little imagination. 2. Something that only exists or happens in your mind. Is it just my imagination, or is it getting warm in here? 1000
(adj: nervous) Having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen. (กระวนกระวาย; เครียด)
(adv: nervously) In a nervous way. (อย่าง ประหม่า) 3000
(v: pat, pats, patted, patting) To lightly touch (someone or something) with your hand usually several times in order to show affection or approval or to provide comfort. (การตบเบา ๆ) 2000
(n: picnic pl picnics) A meal that is eaten outdoors, especially during a trip away from home. (ปิกนิก) 4000
(n: psychologist pl psychologists) A scientist who studies psychology or treats problems to do with the mind and behavior. (นักจิตวิทยา) 2000
(v: roar, roars, roared, roaring) 1. To say loudly or shout; to make the loud sound of a wild animal (such as a lion). (คำราม) 2. To make a loud deep sound. The cannons roared. (ส่งเสียงคำราม) 3. To make a loud deep sound while moving. He roared past on his motorbike. (ส่งเสียงอึกทึก) 6000
(n: sauce pl sauces) A usually thick liquid that is eaten with or on other food to add moisture or flavor. (ซอส) 4000
(n: scarf pl scarves) A long piece of cloth that is worn on your shoulders, around your neck, or over your head. (ผ้าพันคอ) 5000
(n: scene pl scenes) 1. That which is or can be seen when you look at something. (ทัศนียภาพ) 2. A loud or noticeable show of anger, especially in a public place. There was quite an ugly scene at the restaurant. (แสดงความโกรธ) 2000
(v: scream, screams, screamed, screaming) 1. To suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of fear, pain, surprise, etc. 2. To say something in a loud and high voice because you are angry, afraid, etc. (กรีดร้อง) 3000
(n: screen pl screens) 1. A large, flat, white surface on which images or movies are shown. (ฉากหรือจอ) 2. The usually flat part of a television or computer that you look at when you are using it. (จอแสดงผล) 2000
(n: shadow pl shadows) A dark shape on the ground, a wall, etc. caused by an object blocking the light. (เงา) 3000
(n: silence, noncount) 1. [A period of time] when there is no sound. The teacher asked for silence in the room. I find it hard to sleep unless there is complete silence. (ความเงียบ)
(adj: silent) Used to describe someone or something that is not making noise. (เงียบ)
(adv: silently) In a silent way. (อย่างเงียบ ๆ) 3000
1. (v: spoil, spoils, spoiled or spoilt, spoiling) To damage or ruin; to make bad or useless; to reduce the quality or value of. (ทำให้เสีย) 2. To give (a child etc) too much of what he or she wants and possibly make his or her character, behavior etc worse by doing it. (ตามใจจนเสียคน) 3000
(n: stove pl stoves) A flat piece of kitchen equipment used for cooking on. She put the pot on the stove over medium heat. (เตาไฟ) 5000
Often set above an oven [a closed box-like space which is heated for baking or roasting food]. (เตาอบ) 3000
(n: straw, noncount) The dry stems of wheat and other grain plants having many uses, eg as bedding for animals, making mats and other goods etc. (ฟางข้าว) 3000
(n: sweat, noncount) The clear liquid given out through the skin when hot, scared or nervous. (เหงื่อ)
(v: sweats, sweated, sweating) To give out sweat through the skin. (ทำให้เหงื่อออก) 3000
(n: veldt or veld pl veldts or velds) Any of the open grass lands of southern Africa. (ทุ่งหญ้า)
(n: vulture pl vultures) A type of large bird that eats dead animals and has a small and featherless head. (นกแร้ง) 8000
(n: zebra pl zebras) An African animal that looks like a horse and has black and white stripes covering its body. A group of zebras is called a herd. (ม้าลาย) 6000
(n: verb pl verbs) A grammar term for a word that expresses an action, an occurrence, or a state of being. (คำกริยา)
(n: rock pl rocks) 1. (noncount) The hard, solid material that the surface of the Earth is made of. The ship struck a rock and sank. (โขดหิน) 2. A piece of rock; a large stone. The climber was killed by a falling rock. (ก้อนหิน) 2000
(v: rock, rocks, rocked, rocking) To move someone or something gently backwards and forwards or from side to side. (โยก) 5000
This weekly radio program was broadcast on the NBC Network from April 1950 to September 1951. The Veldt was one of the last programs in the series, appearing in August 1951 – less than a year after the story was first published. The version presented her remains fairly true to the original story. The only negative for English learners is that it contains some very advanced vocabulary. In order to fill the half-hour time slot, a lot of technical information was added about the supposed workings of the house. To download the mp3, click here.
This series of half-hour radio plays was produced by Brigham Young University for the U.S. National Public Radio Network. Ray Bradbury was very excited about it and personally provided an introduction to each episode. The series is highly regarded for its original sound effects and musical scores. This is episode 3. For my part, I was disappointed with the treatment given to the Veldt. I feel that too much extra information was added about the quality of George and Lydia’s parenting. This changed the tone of the story for me. To download the mp3, click here.