After The End

I find it interesting that in There Will Come Soft Rains, the house is treated as the protagonist.  The house is the main and, besides the dog, only character.  In 9 and a half years in the future, a nuke strikes the house, destroying everybody around it including the residents inside.  However, despite all this, the house still acts out its daily routine as if ii’s its own way of coping, its own way to preserve what’s left of humanity after the end.

When the house starts up, it began its morning routine where it would announce the time and date 3 times, but “no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels”(Bradbury, page 1).  Despite the house being empty, it still tries to act as it someone is still there to keep going as if everything is normal.  The house pretends that people are still living inside to give it a reason to keep up its routine, despite it being pointless.  Even as it makes breakfast for no one to eat and “the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone”(Bradbury, page 1), the house kept going and simply clean up the mess it made afterwards.  This quote is one of many that shows how pointless the routines the house is performing.  The house is the only remainder of human’s existence and lifestyle, for “the house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes”(Bradbury, page 1), making it the only ‘survivor’ in the city.  This quote also means that something has happened that caused the whole city, except for the house, to be destroyed in such a way that very little hints of humanity is left.  Even the residents that used to live in the house are gone.  The house, like a survivor of an apocalypse, is also paranoid of everything around it, even though it means no harm.  When animals like birds, cats, and foxes approach the house, it “shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia”(Bradbury, page 2).  The house is afraid that something or someone would come and destroy the house like the other building that once stood in the remains of the city.  Since the house is the only one left, it does all that it can to protect itself before it falls as well.  Also, this quote gives the house a personality like a human.  It describes the house as someone who is paranoid while at the same time, trying to cope with the end of the world as it keeps up its routine so that it doesn’t go insane.  Interestly, the house seems to be somewhat aware of its situation, or maybe just humanity’s situation, as on page 3 of the story, the house read off a poem which describes how even if humanity is at war or is snuffed out, the world would not care and move on.  This also fits the house as, even in the end when the house falls down in a fire (Bradbury, page 4), dawn will still come and go, and the world will still move on with or without it.

One thought on “After The End

  1. Excellent analysis Aneita! I especially like how you provide relevant quotes and work hard to show how they are meaningful in terms of your larger discussion. I’ve chosen this as a “featured post” … great job 🙂

    (One thing that would be useful, in terms of revision, would be to break up the second long paragraph into smaller paragraphs, each with its own main idea. For instance, you could start a new paragraph when you start discussing the house’s paranoia.)

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