In the novel The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury, there are many short stories that analyze the abuse and danger of technology, as well as our fascination with it. In addition, it shows how technology influences our relationships with others. In “The Veldt”, a family’s smart house ends up making their lives easier at first, but eventually ruining their lives as the technology becomes a replacement for the people themselves. In the story, the children end up killing their parents because the home has become a parent figure to them, and their real parents threaten to take it away.
In “Marionettes, Inc. “, peoples’ robotic forms of themselves begin to act for themselves and become a better version of the original person. Rather than deal with the problems in their relationships, the people in the story choose to run away by making a robotic version of themselves. Ray Bradbury uses these stories that show the risks of technology in order to spread the message that we need to be careful around technology, as it can control our lives and affect our relationships with others, as well as display the importance of direct communication and strong relationships.
In “The Veldt”, Ray Bradbury investigates how technology can easily take over our lives, as well as how it can alter parent-child relationships. In the story, the family’s “happy-life home” does everything for them. George and Lydia, the parents, begin to want to turn off their smart home, since they start to want to have a normal life again. However, the children, Peter and Wendy, are furious when their parents suggest this, since they love the nursery, and the entire happy-life home.
For the children, the happy-life home has become a parental figure for hem, and they end up killing their real parents, since they are a threat to the technology, which is actually taking care of them. Moreover, this story shows how technology can negatively affect your happiness. The parents began to feel like they no longer had a purpose, since the house was doing everything for them. They thought not having to do any work would make them happier, but it ended up making them unhappy, since in order to be content, you need to feel like you serve a purpose.
Ray Bradbury is showing that technology is dangerous in the way that it can replace humans, and can do our work quicker and at higher quality. He is trying to show that if we go too far in developing technology, we may make it so that we no longer serve a purpose and are rendered useless. In “Marionettes, Inc. “, Bradbury considers another danger of technology, and how it can negatively affect our communication and relationships with others.
In the story, Braling, the main character, orders a perfect replica of himself from the company Marionettes, Inc. ecause he is tired of his wife’s over- affectionate behavior, and wants to get more space without making her upset or accosting her about the issue. In the end, Braling starts to become apprehensive and wants to get rid of the Marionette, but it is too late, as “Braling Two” gets rid of the real Braling, since he learns to love Braling’s wife, and doesn’t want to be separated from her. If Braling had communicated with his wife about wanting to have more free time and space, he could have avoided these problems.
However, since the technology was available, he chose to take the easy way out, instead of articulating what he wanted with his wife. At the same time, the other main character, Smith, wants to make a arionette for the same reason, only to discover that his wife has done the same thing. As a result, he feels lonely and betrayed. Through this story, Ray Bradbury is trying to advise us to avoid taking the “easy way out” with our loved ones, even though it is possible with the technology we have.
For example, we us text or email instead of direct confrontation, instead of face-to-face conversation, even though this is the best way to get your message across. By taking the easy way out, you may come to have to deal with much greater problems than your original issue. Avoiding conflict hurts both people, and can amage a relationship. In the story, “The Rocket”, Ray Bradbury shows a sharp contrast to the more ominous messages of “The Veldt” and “Marionettes, Inc. “.
In the story, a father can only afford to send one person in his family to Mars, a trip that would be an incredible opportunity. No one wants to go unless the others in the family could also attend. To solve the problem, the father buys a rocket, and creates an illusion so that everyone can go on the trip. In this story, the family doesn’t have much material wealth, but they care for other, and are overjoyed that they get o share the experience of going to space together. Furthermore, Bradbury shows how technology can be used for good.
The father uses film, mirrors, screens, and other gadgets to create the fantasy that they are travelling through space, and as a result, gives his children the experience of a lifetime. In addition, Bradbury demonstrates the importance of relationships in bringing a person’s happiness, rather than things. These stories have a message that connects directly to our lives today. In today’s world, we are surrounded by technology, which is becoming progressively more advanced. Technology as already had a huge effect on how we communicate, and on society in general.
Technology definitely has benefits, as it allows us to be immeasurably more efficient. However, technology can be perilous and have negative effects. Besides the negative physical effects that can occur from looking at a screen for long periods of time, or sitting hunched over at a desk, there are also social effects. For example, social media and cell phones allow us to communicate with our friends and family quickly and easily, but it can also reduce our time with face-to-face communication, since it is much easier to ommunicate through this technology than arrange an in- person meeting.
Rather than take the time to talk to each other, we often use social media and texting to share things with each other. Ray Bradbury stresses the importance of real communication in “Marionettes, Inc”, where Braling runs away from his wife, rather than talking to her and confronting the problems in their relationship. Similarly, in “The Veldt”, Bradbury shows how technology can change our relationships, as in the story, where technology gets in the way of the family, replacing the parents.
In Conclusion, Ray Bradbury effectively spreads his message about the importance of human connection and the fact that technology can negatively affect our relationships by developing the themes of the perils of technology, especially in the stories “The Veldt” and “Marionettes, Inc. “. These stories are notably applicable to our lives today, as technology is getting further advanced, and therefore changing our lives quite rapidly. He also shows the contrast to this in “The Rocket”, where families share memories together, even though their expedition is created through the use of technology.
We can carry Ray Bradbury’s message from these stories in The Illustrated Man with us, and hopefully manage to have a healthy relationship with technology, as we are aware of the dangers it can pose. If we know how technology has the potential to alter our relationships with others, we can put special effort into face-to- face conversations, and really living in the moment. In the whole of the story, Bradbury stresses the importance of family and friends, and demonstrates how much happier we will be surrounded by what really brings us joy, and the people we love.