Category Archives: There Will Come Soft Rains

In comes the storm

(Hello professor this is my post for There will come soft rains respond, due to when open lab crashed and I wasn’t able to upload my initial response.)

Much like how our own alarms ring in a gentle voice to awake us at the start of our day; only the lonely house’s voice echoed across the halls with each passing hour. Upon reaching the first few paragraphs, the narrator reveals the house to have a built in A.I that is able to control every square inch of the house based on the schedule. (Bradbury page 1) But after the first few schedules, there still wasn’t any response from anyone within the house. At eight-thirty the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone. (Bradbury page 1 paragraph 11). It has already been over an hour since the first alarm, the warm fresh breakfast still remained untouched. This house was empty, yet despite it being empty, the house is still running it’s daily schedule as it is meant to do.

We might believe, maybe who ever was in the house must’ve not heard the house’s voice calls, but as stated in Page 1 Paragraph 5, Eight-one, tick-tock, eight-one o’clock, off to school, off to work, run, run, eight-one! But no 
doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels. It was raining outside. The weather box on 
the front door sang quietly: “Rain, rain, go away; rubbers, raincoats for today…” And the rain tapped on 
the empty house, echoing. Not a single presence of life of any kind within the house. Just the sheer loneliness that now resides within the home.

The narrator managed to create the painful lonliness and emptiness within a house that is not able to move, the only company being of a slowly dying stray dog, (Bradbury Page 2, last sentence) but even then the canine was there for mere minutes before the silence returned.

While this house is not able to move, the narrator provides us with some information of how this house is “still standing”, within the once “beautiful” city of Allendale, California,  The house 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 which 
could be seen for miles. (Bradbury Page 1 paragraph 3). Even showing signs that this house has even been previously burnt. Running down the charred west side where the house had been burned evenly free of its white paint. The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. (Bradbury Page 2 Paragraph 2).

Nearing the end of this short story, the house continues it’s scheduled routine, whether or not the residents are within, it continues as commanded. From what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the narrator clearly indicates that the house has previously been on fire, due to one of routines which involves a fire lighting a cigar that is waiting to be picked up at eight o’ clock.  A new routine was made ever since the disappearance of the residence, where each night the house must put out the blazing fire. (Bradbury page 5). Again the narrator perfectly reminds us the painful emptiness, the lack of any real human, no emotion, just a single electronic voice on a wall (page 7).

Nature Doesn’t Need Us (not late!)

“…And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn

Would scarcely know that we were gone.”

 

In There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury we are able to experience the a world that we would never be able to. An empty house, an empty world, with no people around. Our protagonist in There Will Come Soft Rains is not a person but a house. Seemingly utopian at first, the house is modern and contains technology that fills the mind with wonder, but slowly we begin to realize that there is something missing, we are missing. A day in the life of an empty house in 2026. The house is juxtaposed with nature, and as we finally come to realize, this story is one about the ultimately apathetic quality of nature.

Humans seem to forget that nature does not care. As most of us have come to realize, the consequences of global warming are imminent. Hurricanes, for example, are a direct consequence of global warming they are something we did to ourselves. Yet somehow, we find ways to place the blame on “mother nature” we accuse her being wrathful and unstoppable, a true force of the universe we are powerless against, which is a lie. Like uncomfortable guests at a dinner party argument, we remove ourselves the situation. We will probably end up paying the price for that sooner than later because again, nature does not care. Humans, could as a species become completely extinct, but it really wouldn’t matter to nature. Life goes on after us, it’ll just pick up where it left off. Humans like to think of themselves as more important than we really are, but honestly it’s not that deep. We destroy each other for things that are meaningless in the grand scheme of things and expect other to be perfectly fine with those decisions, to see them as logical and reasonable.

Abandoned IM Power Plant in Charleroi, Belgium

Bradbury’s There Will Come Soft Rains shows us a glimpse of the world that is to come after us. We are subtly told that this is a consequence of some kind of nuclear fallout, “the entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. […] The five spots of paint—the man, the woman, the children, the ball—remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer.” In this lack of humans, the house is personified and seems almost like a dog waiting for it’s master to come back. This is interesting given that the house is a piece of human technology left behind, and the juxtaposition it is placed in with an actual, literal dog. Both, the metaphorical and actual dog die in the story. The real dog foreshadows the oncoming death of the house, “The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly in circles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died.” We see that in it’s last moments the house is trying to keep itself alive and protect itself from an outside force, like the dog who is done in by the smell of pancakes in the house, there is even a reference to fire.

The forces of nature can not be controlled, we are meant to coexist not compete. It is not us versus them, when “us”, humanity, is part of “them”, nature. It is a lesson we should learn if we wish to continue living as we have until now.

Mother Gaia by Humon Comics

class notes 9/28/2017

 Omelas

 

Terms used to describe the child in the basement:

“feeble-minded”(4)     “defective”(4)    fearful   “it”(showing that it is sub-human)(4)  “imbecile”(4)  “miserable”

“hunched”  neglected  “lost track of time”(4)  “looks about 6 but is actually 10″(4)

 

The terms show that the child was stunted physically, mentally,  and emotionally

the child was not always treated like this and pleads “I will be good”(5)

the people do not respond to the pleas and don’t say good words to the child

society knows about the child and show the child to other children when they are the same age

after seeing the child the people of omelas feel disgusted, feel contempt, feel that they can not do anything , for the younger citizens they may feel that the child could be them, all ending with the majority of them becoming complicit after mulling over the problem.

child is seen as the darkness of the city as it can not have light without darkness

they do not let the child out as it would “destroy omelas”- massive utilitarian bargain –  possibly out of the guilt the citizens will feel for putting it in it’s situation

where do those that walk away walk to?

-commit suicide (the great unknown)

-intentionally into  the unknown to get away from the great injustice

vocab

Vapid- shallow

speculative- What If?

extrapolation- what if?/ taking something to it’s logical conclusion

 

There Will Come Soft Rains Group Notes will be collected Tuesday 10/3

Class Discussion #3: “People’s Choice” Posts for “There Will Come Soft Rains”

Just like we did for the previous two short stories, I would like everyone to read through all reading response blogs on “There Will Come Soft Rains,” choose a favorite post, and explain the rationale for choosing it.

Just like we did last time, share the post/excerpt/rationale by “commenting” here on this post. Don’t forget to link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link).

Comments should be made no later than Sunday, 10/1, and the one with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor! I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why.

Technology didn’t save us from the war

In this story “There will be soft rains” by Ray Bradbury is an amazing story i read 2 years ago in English 1.  It shows the comfort that technology can bring to people lives and how it can ruin the lives of many with crippling effects on the environment and wildlife. Plus the most disturbing realization of all is that there are no people around in this story. “Today is August 4, 2026,” said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, “in the city of Allendale, California.” (1,2) Within this quote we get a lot of info on the setting in this story, the story takes place in August4, 2026 in Allendale California which is an actual county in California. Also this is a story in the future in a “Smart House” that has automatic settings determined by the time in the day in every paragraph in the story which gives us the exact time frame from which this    names of people who don’t show up in he story at all because they have either left the house or died outside, because the house is abandoned with no one to shut it down it keeps running on each day until it finally runs out of energy or breaks down.  But what i find interesting is how the narrator personified the objects in the house and the “animalification” of fire burning the house down, as if it was a predator hunting down prey.“The fire backed off, as even an elephant must at the sight of a dead snake. Now there were twenty snakes whipping over the floor, killing the fire with a clear cold venom of green froth.”(4,2) the narrator makes sure we picture fire as an elephant moving away from snakes and show the green froth as twenty snakes which came from the house robots who maintain the house, they obviously used some sort of futuristic fire repellent. My only wonder is why the house was completely abandoned if it worked perfectly also wha happened outside that would warrant leaving everything behind without a trace or clue of the past owners except the name of the married people, status in family. But i did have an idea on why they might have been gone, in this quote,”Today is Mr.Featherstone’s birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita’s marriage. (1,2)” This could mean that the family simply is not home at this time because they are celebrating the anniversary of the parents but died when they got causght in whatever was outside at the moment like nuclear weapon attacks or which would explain why the house was so empty, or at least what i thought at the beginning until reading later when the narrotor mentioned the dog i realized that life outside of the comfort of this house was harsh and cruel.

There Will Come Soft Rains

In “August 2026: There Will be Soft Rains By Ray Bradbury (1950)”, this story is based off of a timeline and this is a third person point of view considering the narrator not once says “I” suggesting this is from an outsider looking in. Also, it is clear that the narrator strongly uses personification by personifying the home, and small details within the home to give a vivid image as to how the house was before and how it is now. The clock is given the personification of caring about the presence of those who lived in the home. For example, in the beginning it said that “In the living room the voice clock sang- Time to get up seven-o’clock as if it were afraid no body would” (Bradbury, 1). This means that the presence of the people who lived in this home is no longer there and that the clock is not good with being alone. As the story goes on, it begins to discuss the dog that comes over hurt and in search for help. Once it finds there is no one at the house, “it ran wildly in circles biting at its tail spun in a frenzy, and died”. (Bradbury, 3). In other words, the dog ran crazily in circles, spun uncontrollably and then died. This suggests that the home that was once upon a time livable, is now a dangerous/ hazardous place. In the beginning, the home is personified to as strong, holding itself together through this tragedy. However, fails to do so because in the story it is said that “The house tried to save itself. But the windows were broken by the heat and the window blew and sucked upon the fire”. (Bradbury, 5). This conveys that the home tried to stand its ground as much as possible but failed because of the fire that occurred. “The reserved water supply which had filled baths and wash dishes for many quiet days was gone”(Bradbury, 3). In other words, the water supply in which they relied on during their time of crisis failed to be an assist during this fire. At the end, the narrator says “In the kitchen an instant before the rain of fire and timber the stove could be seen making breakfast”. (Bradbury, 6). This to me implied that to someone, not necessarily the narrator has a flashback during the fire of how the home used to be. It can be implied that this story is means to be taking place in the future considering the  utilities within the home are being personified by being responsible for the daily needs of the people who lived there such as the stove cooking pancakes on its own. Also, the title suggests that as well as the repetition of “it is august 2020”. Considering the whole city was wiped out and this was the only home that was standing, it can be implied that there was some type of nuclear weapon used possibly for war considering these weapons are usually the cause of mass destructions.

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate

“August 2026:There Will Come Soft Rains ” is not a warm or inspiring piece that stirs something  within me but I cannot complain that the short story lacks energy. Inhuman energy it has in abundance!

Written in 1950, the story reflects the Cold War fear of nuclear war and human if not global annihilation. Americans in the 1950’s, were trying to comprehend a strange and frightening new (nuclear) reality, where the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) was supposed to provide a grotesque reassurance of continued normality. In the story “August 2026:There Will Come Soft Rains ” , an automated house (supposedly a home) chronologically and systematically mocks any hope that we may have had of comforting human warmth, and the familiar, when we started to read. The house  first teases us with images of “perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk” (Bradbury 1, par 2) as it eerily uses foreshadowing “..as if it were afraid that nobody would [wake up]” (Bradbury 1, par 1), and then lays bare the horrifying reality outside ” The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes….At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow that could be seen for miles”(Bradbury 1, par 8). We, the human reader, are left empty handed, insignificant and confused.

Literary analysis: Personification (“the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman” : Google). The story has no human characters, the closest thing in the story to something alive is a dying dog “once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores”(Bradbury 2, par 3). The narrator uses  personification to give life to this automated house and it’s mechanical cohorts: the  “…angry mice” (Bradbury 2, par 3) and the incinerator .”..evil Baal in a dark corner” (Bradbury 2, par 4), and thus turns  the house the main character of the story. The purpose here, I think,  is to show how inhospitable and inhuman this environment is, an environment that was supposed to serve mankind continues without him (for a while), hollow and without purpose, mocking mankind: the inventor surpassed and destroyed by his own Frankenstein invention.

Structure: The narrator mechanically paces the story with a chronological timeclock, like something from “Modern Times” ( Charlie Chaplin). The time (in italics and as if from a script)  announces the tasks as the house carries them out “Ten-fifteen. The garden sprinklers whirled up in golden founts”(Bradbury 1, par 9), again, hollow acts without purpose; a mechanical epitaph to a brilliant yet horribly fallible inventor.

Metaphor: “The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants…But the Gods had gone away”(Bradbury 2, par 3). An alter to whom, the God’s of course: man’s altar to himself. Technology was man’s altar to himself and like the Greek mythological character Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who dared to fly too close to the sun (also a ball of nuclear fission) and who’s wings of feathers and wax melted in the radiated heat, mankind has been punished for his sin of hubris.

I would like to conclude with a quote from Dante’s Inferno, a little dramatic I know but appropriate when we consider the hell that awaits us if anybody (i.e. Kim Jong-un or President Trump) makes the wrong move in a nuclear stalemate. I find it alarming that we now depend on Russia and China for wisdom.

Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore:
fecemi la divina potestate,
la somma sapienza e ‘l primo amore.
Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterno duro.
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate

Translation: Through me you go to the grief wracked city; Through me you go to everlasting pain; Through me you go a pass among lost souls. Justice inspired my exalted Creator: I am a creature of the Holiest Power, of Wisdom in the Highest and of Primal Love. Nothing till I was made was made, only eternal beings. And I endure eternally. Abandon all hope — Ye Who Enter Here.

 

The One Thing Nuclear War Cant Stop

Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock! (Page 1 Paragraph 1) You would of thought as the family was about to get ready for  day of work but you would be wrong. This is a story of life after nuclear war and how technology will continue to exist even as all mankind doesn’t.  While it dose not say no one lives there you see “The five spots of paint- the man, the woman, the children, the ball remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer.”You see all sorts of animals that survived the rats, snakes and the family dog but no signs of human life.Its nine oclock and a voice asked what poem would you like to and no in the house responds. So the voice picks Mrs. McClellan, favorite the first line reads “There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground” This is the first sign of nuclear war when the bomb dropped in Japan the first thing they saw was a yellow cloud with rain falling out of it and then the people started smelling human flesh burning. Albert Enistien said it best when “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Nuclear war is something that humans will not survive but our houses will. The lawn will keep getting watered, the food will still be cooked and dishes would be washed without the help of mankind. “Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly;” (Page 3 line 8) The house still recognized the dog and let in the mice still ran around the house as they didn’t need humans to survive.
There is still one thing that technology cant do and survive from natural disasters.The wind blew. A failing tree bough crashed through the kitchen window. Cleaning solvent, bottled, shattered over the stove. The room was ablaze in an instant! (Page 3 Paragraph 5) The irony that to take out mankind it took t another mankind creation but to take out the house and the animals inside it took a natural disaster. This story was written in 1950 and that was the Cold War an the arms race was beginning. The fear was that a nuclear war would take us out. You would think after 70 years we would learn but as George Santayana said “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  Today with the threat of Nuclear War we might be living in world where are alarm clocks would be ringing and no one would answer it . The last line in the story to me is the strongest line “Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is…” This shows that even after the worst happens the days will continue without without you. This is something people overlook when civilization comes to end a new one will rise without your help. Amit Rays says it perfectly “Earth is the play ground of our children and their children. We cannot allow it to be the play ground of the nuclear arms of the evil forces.” 

The Future as We May Know it

“There will come soft rains by ray bradbury is a short story that starts off with  how many of us envision the future. The futuristic smart house where everything is done by itself and you d not have to raise a single finger.  The story takes place in August 4th (my birthday), in 2026. The house is completely alone, with no human being inside of it, and even though at first it took me some time to realize that there wasn’t anyone in there, the house runs by itself as in it were like expecting someone to be inside of it.

“The weather box on the front door sang quietly ” Rain Rain, G o away, rubbers, raincoats for today.  ( Bradbury Page 2 Paragraph 4, Sentence 4) It believes, and when I say it, I mean the house.The artificial Intelligence that we now only ‘s get a glimpse of, believes that there is another force, or another life or human being in the house. We as the readers do not know what happened to the rest of the population or to Mrs. McClellan who used to be the person who lived in this house.

“Out of the warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.”, (Bradbury Page 1 Paragraph 7, Sentence 1)

What once was an abomination, one of the most disgustingly things from this planet, is now a powerful tool that helps clean this inhabited house.  The mice go and clean and leave. It is like if you drop something they are constantly watching you, so if you tend to make a mess. they go and clean it right away.

In the second page of this short story we have come across some revealing information about this new feature that this so called smart house has from within. It happens to be that no one and absolutely no one can get closed or touch the house . Birds cannot even get close. “No, not even a bird must touch the house”.

In Page 3 we get revealed that this house belongs to someone after all. This person is a lady called Mrs. McClellan, We as readers do not know her age nor if she is still married or not. (Bradbury Page 3 Second Paragraph Line 7.)

Dogs are a great addition to a home, that is of course, in my opinion, everyone is entitled to their own, but anyways.

It is revealed that there was some dog that used to live with them but now the dog is completely irecognizable , It has no longer that healthy fun and long coat that it once did. It is now Covered in sore spots and malnutrition-ed.  (Bradbury, Page 2 Paragraph 2 Sentence 6, ” It ran wildly in circles, biting off at its tail, spun in a  frenzy, and then died.” The poor dog died, which i must say i was not expecting that.

As I was reading this story i came across so many questions and maybe some of you guys would be able to break it down further for me. Like for example; What happened to the population?

What happened to the kids the elderly and everyone else in between?

Where is everyone?

Why is the house empty?

The world 76 years later

In “August 2026:There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) by Ray Bradbury is a story about the life in the future in 76 years later from now from 1950. In the future a house can do all your chores, cleaning, cooking, you name it, it shall be done! The only downside is that the setting of the world is post-apocalyptic because “The house stood alone in city of rubber and ashes” this house is only thing not destroyed in the middle of the city that in ruins. Whether human life still walks on this planet is questionable.

Is there still human life on this Planet? We don’t know if there still human life on the planet, but we do know animals still living on the planet. When house acted on“How carefully it had inquired, “Who goes there? What’s the password?” and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats..(page2)” This mean there still animal like foxes or cats that roaming outside the house, so this show signs of life on the planet. When bird fly next to the house’s window the automatic machine responses with “If sparrow brushed a window, the shade snapped up. The bird, startled, flew off! No, not even a bird must touch the house!” This show still bird roaming the skies and still alive. Then the house “A dog whined, shivering, on the front porch.The front door recognized the dog voice and opened.(page 2)” The house automatic opens it door for the dog that maybe belong to master of the house at one point in time, so dog may belong to master house and still living for now. We can conclude there still life on this planet because their still dog, cats, bird, and foxes still are around, so we can assuming there still human life on the planet because the planet still can sustain life.

Base on the story, we can build some information about this house and it owners. The house is basically automatic, it do chores for you, but the owner are no longer there base this text evidences “But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.” They referred the owners of the house as gods, and the ritual of religion is the chores, so the house is empty no human live there. When the house activated the garden sprinklers it mentioned “The five spots of paint-the man, the woman, the children, the ball-remained(page 1)” this mean a family father, mother, son, and daughter lived in that house at one point in time possibly. The owner may have owned a dog because ““A dog whined, shivering, on the front porch.The front door recognized the dog voice and opened.(page 2)” At nine o’clock, the house ask the master for which poem “Mrs. McClellan, which poem would you like this evening?” this mean the owner last name was McClellan and married person because “Mrs.” This concludes that this house belong to a owners with name “Mrs. McClellan” and it was family of father, mother, son, and daughter lived there.

First I want say “Rest in Peace” for the house that continue it duty even when the masters of the house was no longer there. It very dark to imagine a post-apocalyptic setting for the story, and this one house remain intact in the middle of a city of rubber and ashes. Overall, I do question why a house that so far in technology that can do all house chores and cooking got destroyed by falling tree because I imagined the house should’ve been hardened steel surrendering it, but I guess people in past never imagine that far into future how things can change. This setting remind me of games like “Nier Automata” and “Fallout series” because they had post-apocalyptic setting as well. The video game lover can imagine the world of post-apocalyptic like those games.