Understanding Satire in The Veldt

Report
It’s been a week.
Can you
remember what
irony is?
Irony: the discrepancy between
what is said and what is meant,
what is said and what is done,
what is expected or intended and
what happens…
Understanding Satire
Using your homework: share with your
neighbour the 5 ironic events or things you
have discovered. Can you pick the two best
events to share?
So what is Satire?
A work that ridicules its subject through the use of techniques such
as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to
make a comment or criticism about it.
• Today we will look for and identify satirical details that reveal the comment or
criticism of society that the story describes.
• We will consider what message is the writer trying to give to the world through these
characters and events.
• Incongruity: To present things that are out of place or are
absurd in relation to its surroundings.
• Parody: To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person,
place, or thing. To make fun of something.
• Exaggeration: To enlarge, increase, or represent something
beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its
faults can be seen.
• Reversal: To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g., the
order of events, hierarchical order).
The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
• As we read through the text we will pause to answer questions on each
section through discussion.
• Look for techniques which signal the use of satire (including the use of
irony).
• As a group make notes on all the questions asked and highlight and annotate
lines you discuss to inform your analysis at the end of the lesson.
• One scribe for the sugar paper, all with highlighters and a copy of the text,
one person writing questions you come up with.
The Veldt (Part One)
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•
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•
What do you think a ‘Happylife Home’ is?
How is the stove described? What technique is being used? (Think: satire)
How would you describe the setting and atmosphere?
What technique does Bradbury use to suggest there is something wrong?
Discuss these questions as a group.
Write down notes, bullet points and ideas on your sugar paper.
Any questions you have write on the post-it notes.
The Veldt (Part Two)
• How much did the nursery cost? Why do you think the nursery cost so
much?
• How does Bradbury describe the lions?
• How are the parents satirized?
• What is odd about the line “You’ve been working too hard. You need a rest.”
Discuss these questions as a group.
Write down notes, bullet points and ideas on your sugar paper.
Any questions you have write on the post-it notes.
The Veldt (Part Three)
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•
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How are the children's’ thoughts absurd and odd?
Why is the nursery setting stuck as the Veldt? What is being satirized here?
Why do you think the child’s IQ is important?
How is the wallet described?Why do you think the wallet ends up in the
nursery?
Discuss these questions as a group.
Write down notes, bullet points and ideas on your sugar paper.
Any questions you have write on the post-it notes.
The Veldt (Part Four)
• What is the children’s relationship with their parents like? Give evidence for
your answer.
• Why does the psychologist give that advice?
• What message do you think the writer is giving to parents?
• Why is the scarf found in the nursery?
Discuss these questions as a group.
Write down notes, bullet points and ideas on your sugar paper.
Any questions you have write on the post-it notes.
The Veldt (Part Five)
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•
•
•
How do the children react to the closing of the nursery and why?
What have the children done and why?
How does Bradbury use reversal at the end of the story?
Why is Wendy’s question ironic?
Discuss these questions as a group.
Write down notes, bullet points and ideas on your sugar paper.
Any questions you have write on the post-it notes.
Each group has one question to discuss and feedback on:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What aspects pf contemporary family life do the “Happylife Home” and the nursery satirize? What
exactly have the Hadleys “purchased” for their $30,000 (plus $15,000 extra for the nursery)? What do
the amenities of the “Happylife Home” offer them?
In what ways has the house infantilised the Hadleys? How does Bradbury depict this as dangerous?
In addition to not having anything to do, why else does Lydia say that she feels like she doesn’t belong
in the house?
This story is in many ways also a classic Gothic horror story (which often portray “sick” houses
and/or families). What clues are readers given throughout the story that something “very bad” (to
quote David McClean!) is going on in the nursery?
How is childhood represented in this story? What are the effects of the house and nursery on the
children? In what ways does Bradbury depict these effects as dangerous (to the children, to society)?
What does the story suggest as the source of the children’s murderous hatred for their parents? How
are George and Lydia shown to have failed their children?
How is this story’s depiction of imagination, and the “uses” of fantasy/imagination by children,
different than (or similar to) earlier texts we’ve read/seen?
Place all your feedback to the question on the
wall.
• Present your information to the class.
• Ask questions if you are confused or need further information.
Plenary:
Write your own definition of satire.
Do you think this is a successful short story? Explain why!

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