A House is not a Home

“August 2026: There Will come Soft Rains” By Ray Bradbury.

I am not sure, where to start? I guess that I will start from the poem that was inserted to the story, by “Sara Teasdale”, (Bradbury, page 3).  The last four lines from the poem

“Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,

if mankind perished utterly; 

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn

Would scarcely know that we were gone” 

I understand that from the title this story takes place in the futuristic town of Allendale, California. In the beginning of the story we are introduce to the clock that is in the living room  announcing that it is  “Seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock!” (Bradbury, page 1). This let us know that if there are occupants in the house that they like to get up at seven to start their day.

However, we are to find out that there isn’t anyone living in the house, when the clock said “Eight-one, tick-tock, eight-one o’clock, off to school, off to work, run, run,” Then the narrator said “But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels.” (Bradbury, page 1).  It is as if the house itself is going through its daily routine without realizing that there are no human beings occupying it. Which reminds me of “Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly”  [Bradbury, page 3(Sara Teasdale)]. The house maintain itself and protected itself how it was programmed to and can continue on alone.

Later on in the story we learned that not only there wasn’t  anyone living in the house, but the house itself “stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing. At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow.” (Bradbury, page 1). In this short paragraph it seems that there were some kind of bomb or explosion big enough to destroy a whole city and leave a radioactive glow.  I think that the title of the story-the poem that it represent, is true to the story. I feel that people are the most destructive beings on earth and when we were created or evolved into human-beings (depending one’s belief), along with us came destruction. If we are not continuously looking for new ways to harm, kill, and maim ourselves, we are looking for new ways to kill, harm and even maim others.

I do believe that animals, those who remain wild can and will live on if all of humanity was to be wiped off the entire earth. Why would trees (who some scientist are starting to say can feel) want to be constantly cut down?  Why would animal miss us when some of us make a game out of killing them? They would not. In that sense, We would not be missed. Not at all. But, the animals that we have tamed and the ones we made pets, if we were to simply be wiped out and they lived on. They would miss us because we have domesticated them. They are more likely to die shortly after we are gone. Narrator spoke about a dog whom “ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, that only silence was here” (Bradbury, page 2) then shortly after that the dog dies in the house.

Within the story, it seems that everything and everyone was dead or dying in that city. So there was nothing left to miss the people in that particular city. The seasons will come and go and days will continue to come and go and we know this because the narrator said “Dawn showed faintly in the east. Among the ruins, one wall stood alone. Within the wall, a last voice said, over and over again and again, even as the sun rose to shine upon the heaped rubble and steam: “Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is”….” (Bradbury, page 4).

One thing I would like to add, even though, I believed that we would not be missed by mother nature if we were all to be wiped out. However, there would be evidence of our existence if another intelligent race were to be created, visited, or evolved  from our earth and then when this happens, if we are not missed, we will never be forgotten.

This is an article on the argument of whether or not Plants and Trees can feel: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/plants-feel-pain.htm


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