The Veldt

the veldtAlthough 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.

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

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.

Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1800 word list are: , , , butterfly, ceiling, , , dimension, , , , , giraffe, , , , , , , , , , pat, , , picnic, , psychologist, , roar, , sauce, screen, spoil, straw, , , sweat, , , , , veldt, vulture, and zebra.

There is also an in the Intermediate level story which English learners may find confusing. David McClean says to the children’s father: “Like too many others, you’ve built (your life) around s.

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breath(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.

butterfly(n: butterfly pl butterflies) An insect that has a long thin body and brightly colored wings and flies mostly during the day. 4000

ceiling(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

comfortable chair comforting someone

dimension(n: dimension pl dimensions) A measurement in length, width, height, or depth. 3000

dust(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

emotion(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

giraffe(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

entrance hall hallway

handkerchief(n: handkerchief pl handkerchiefs or handkerchieves) A small usually square piece of cloth used for wiping your face, nose, or eyes. (ผ้าเช็ดหน้า) 4000

horrible(adj:ˈhorrible) 1. Causing horror; frightening; dreadful. A horrible sight. (น่าเกลียดน่ากลัว) 2. Very bad or unpleasant. What a horrible day! (ไม่น่ายินดี) 2000

imagine(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

nervous(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

picnic(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

roar(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

sauce(n: sauce pl sauces) A usually thick liquid that is eaten with or on other food to add moisture or flavor. (ซอส) 4000

scarf(n: scarf pl scarves) A long piece of cloth that is worn on your shoulders, around your neck, or over your head. (ผ้าพันคอ) 5000

scene(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

scream(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

screen(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

shadow(n: shadow pl shadows) A dark shape on the ground, a wall, etc. caused by an object blocking the light. (เงา) 3000

silence(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

rotten fruit spoiled-child

stove(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

straw(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

sweat(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

veld(n: veldt or veld pl veldts or velds) Any of the open grass lands of southern Africa. (ทุ่งหญ้า)

vulture(n: vulture pl vultures) A type of large bird that eats dead animals and has a small and featherless head. (นกแร้ง) 8000

zebra(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

rocks rocking

antelope(n: antelope pl antelopes) An animal in Africa and Asia that looks like a deer, has horns pointing up and back, and runs very fast. 11000
A group of antelopes is called a herd.

beast(n: beast pl beasts) 1. Any animal other than man, especially a large, four-footed one. 2. A very cruel, hurtful person or creature. 5000

binoculars(n: binoculars, plural) A device for making things that are far away look nearer, with separate eyepieces for each eye. 7000

cemetery(n: cemetery pl cemeteries) A piece of ground where the bodies of dead people are buried; a graveyard. 5000

cruel(adj: cruel, crueler, cruelest) Used to describe: 1. someone who hurts others and does not feel sorry about it; 2. something that causes or helps to cause pain or suffering.
(n: cruelty pl cruelties) 1. Something which causes pain or suffering. 2. The quality or state of being cruel. 3000

fantasy(n: fantasy pl fantasies) 1. Something that is produced by the imagination; an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality. 2. A book, movie, etc. that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world. 5000

fireflies(n: firefly pl fireflies) A small flying insect that produces a soft light. In the U.S.A., also called a lightning bug.

fireworks(n: firework pl fireworks) A small device that explodes to make a display of light and noise, often used for entertainment at special events. 5000

frame(n: frame pl frames) 1. An open structure that holds something (such as glass or a picture) in place. (กรอบ) 2. A hard main structure around which something is built or made, such as the wooden frame of a house or the steel frame of an airplane. (โครงสร้างพื้นฐาน) 2000

hum(v: hum, hums, hummed, humming) 1. (v) To make a musical sound with your lips closed. (ฮัมเพลงโดยไม่เปิดปาก) 2. To make a low continuous sound. (ทำเสียงคล้ายฮัมเพลง) 4000

jaw(n: jaw pl jaws) Either one of the two bones of a head where teeth grow. (ขากรรไกร) 3000

massage(v: massage, massages, massaged, massaging) To rub or press part of a person's body to help them relax or ease and remove pain or stiffness. (นวด) 4000

(adj: mechanical) Of or relating to machines or tools. (เกี่ยวกับเครื่องจักรกล) 3000

(v: mend, mends, mended, mending) To make (something broken or damaged) usable again; to fix or repair. (ซ่อม) 3000

nightmare(n: nightmare pl nightmares) 1. A dream that frightens a sleeping person; a very bad dream. (ฝันร้าย) 2. A very bad or frightening experience or situation. 3000

nod(v: nod, nods, nodded, nodding) 1. To move your head up and down as a way of answering 'yes' or of showing agreement, understanding, or approval. 2. To move your head up and down as a signal to someone or as a way of saying hello or goodbye to someone. (พยักหน้า) 3000

nursery(n: nursery pl nurseries) A room used for young children to sleep or play in. (สถานรับเลี้ยงเด็ก) 2000

(n: paranoia, noncount) An unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc. (อาการทางจิตที่หวาดระแวง) 10000

paw(n: paw pl paws) The foot of a land animal that has claws. (มือสัตว์) 5000

(n: pepper pl peppers) 1. (noncount) The dried, powdered berries of a certain plant, used for seasoning food. (พริกไทย) 2. A hollow vegetable that is usually red, green, or yellow and can be eaten raw or cooked. (พริก) 6000

pepper peppers

pride(n: pride, noncount) A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction at one's achievements, possessions, family etc. She looked on with pride as her daughter graduated. (ความภาคภูมิใจ) 3000
(adj: proud, prouder, proudest) Feeling very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, someone you know, etc. She felt very proud as her daughter graduated. (ภูมิใจในตนเอง) 2000

punish(v: punish, punishes, punished, punishing) To make (someone) suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. (ลงอาญา)
(n: punishment pl punishments) The act or way of making (someone) suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. (การลงโทษ) 3000

(v: rustle, rustles, rustled, rustling) To make a soft, light sound because parts of something are touching or rubbing against each other. (ทำให้เกิดเสียงกรอบแกรบ) 4000

strawberry(n: strawberry pl strawberries) A small, soft, juicy red fruit that grows on a low plant with white flowers. (ผลสตรอเบอรี่) 5000

supper(n: supper pl suppers) A usually light meal taken at the end of the day. (อาหารมื้อเย็น) 3000

temper(n: temper, singular) The way that a person is feeling at a particular time; mood. He is in a pleasant/bad temper. (อารมณ์) 3000
(adj: bad-tempered) Someone who easily gets angry when things don't happen as they want.
(v: lose one's temper) [idiom] To suddenly get angry about something. (โกรธ)

(n: threat pl threats) 1. A statement that you are going to hurt or punish someone. (การขู่เข็ญ) 2. A sign of something dangerous or unpleasant which could happen. (การคุกคาม) 2000

(n: thump pl thumps) [the sound of] a heavy blow or hit. (ตีดัง ๆ)
(v: thump, thumps, thumped, thumping) To hit or beat something or someone and make a loud, deep sound. (กระหน่ำ) 4000

vacation(n: vacation pl vacations) A period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel; a holiday. We had a restful vacation at the beach. (วันหยุด) 7000

(n: idiom pl idioms) An expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but has a meaning of its own which is generally understood by the native speakers of a language. It's a piece of cake. [= It's very easy.] It costs an arm and a leg. [= It's very expensive.] He has kicked the bucket. [= He is dead.] (สำนวน) 8000

(idiom: creature comfort pl creature comforts) Something that is not necessary for survival and makes life more comfortable or enjoyable, such as good food, clothing, or housing. David likes his creature comforts, so he always stays in the best hotels.

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.

A 23 minute film from the ‘Ray Bradbury Theater’ American TV series, with personal introduction by Ray Bradbury. This is episode 11 of Season 3. To watch online, click here. To download the mp4, click here.
A 3 minute music video insipred by the story from Canadian electronic music producer deadmau5. To watch online, click here. To read the lyrics and listen online, click here. To download the mp4, click here.

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