From the poem to the film I felt that they we shedding a new beginning in different aspects. I feel that time was key in each domain. In the reading it was starting an new day, nothing really special about the date. With the poem I felt it was breaking a new season after the war that happened in the cold harsh winters. With the film it started a new year. But I found it weird that all of them didn’t share the same dates. It would’ve been better that the film and the reading were to start a new season due to the poem, because of the era it was written in.
Category Archives: There Will Come Soft Rains
Snow Day #2! (City Tech Closed Tomorrow, Tu 3/14: No Class)
As you may have heard by now, City Tech is closed tomorrow due to the impending blizzard, so we won’t be having class.
I’ve created a new Class Discussion on “There Will Come Soft Rains” as a way to continue to work through the short story, focusing on the group discussion questions from last class, the elements of fiction, especially conflicts & themes (especially in relation to the questions in the Science Fiction Framework), and analysis of quotes (with citations!).
As for the rest of the week, don’t forget that the Midterm Exam is this Thursday, 3/16 (I’ll be away at a conference, but one of my colleagues, Professor Corbett will be there to proctor the exam in class). Please review the exam page (which provides details about the format for/content of the exam), and study accordingly.
Also, Essay 1 is due Thursday, 3/14 (Professor Corbett will be collecting the hard copies in class, and you should submit the file via Dropbox before class begins), and you should still post your Pre-Draft by tomorrow, Tu 3/14 at 2pm (see the Schedule for more details). Please read through everyone’s Pre-Drafts, and provide peer review (feedback) by leaving a comment on your classmates’ posts. You can give feedback on content, organization, argument, analysis, etc.
Please use the time you gain back from not having class tomorrow to work on your essays. If you have any questions about the exam or the essay, please post a comment here to this post.
Next week we’re moving forward with starting a new novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, as planned.
Most importantly, stay safe during the storm & enjoy the snow day 🙂
Class Discussion: There Will Come Soft Rains
Since we have a snow day tomorrow (Tu 3/14), when we were going to continue our discussion of “There Will Come Soft Rains,” we will use this Class Discussion here to wrap up our conversation about the story. Feel free to post questions, analysis, additional thoughts here, especially related to the group discussion questions we worked on in our last class.
There will come soft rains
“There Will Come Soft Rain” from the poem to the film was about the after math of a war. In the reading by Ray Bradbury the house being empty but voice is speaking as if theirs a family in there, living time by time with announcements. From 7am to 7am the next day the house has gone through its daily routines and had multiple functions, silence within the empty house was the norm, but having a response was the issue. “Who goes there? What’s the password?” and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats, it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection…” (Bradbury, Ray. There will come soft rain. 2). The house reacted in a frantic manor towards the animals because it’s used to no one being there. “Then again when the dog had came along later on Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience. “. It became a big scene for the mice knowing that they had to finally do some work. It’s equivalent to knowing that you work a quite shift and then someone comes along asking for directions to the nearest train station is such as myself. With the poem by Sara Teasdale it has a connection other than on Page 3. “Since you express no preference, I shall select a poem at random.” Quiet music rose to back the voice. “Sara Teasdale. As I recall, your favorite…. ” even during the war that left that area abandoned, I think Mrs. McClellan knew the truth that nature would win in the battle against man.
“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. ”
when it came down to it no one was left and time still went on with a break of a new day ,with spring over the horizon. The film kind of summed it up but the difference was that the house destroyed itself and it was in the winter time. Which showed a different field that I hope to understand.
Reading Response : There Will Come Soft Rain.
Based on my reading of “There Will Come Soft Rain”, I can conclude that the setting of the story is in both a place of vast technological advancements, & what seems to be a post apocalyptic time. The human race and society has seemed to vanished. Leaving behind nothing but ” a house standing alone in a city of rubble and ashes”(pg.1). Even though everything around the house is riddled with death the house is surprisingly still very much so alive.The house seemed to be programmed to act out hourly tasks without the intervention of human interaction. “In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interioreight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, twocoffees, and two cool glasses of milk.”(pg.2).The house is clearly intelligent enough to know when and how to preform tasks to the point were it becomes alive.”The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, inchoirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.”(pg.2) Despite being technologically advances, the house still hasn’t come to the realization that the occupants of the home are gone, turned into nothing more than shadowy silhouettes.
Although the house doesn’t seem to realize its providing for people that don’t exist.It seems to be aware of the state of destruction the world in in around it.”It had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protectionwhich bordered on a mechanical paranoia.It quivered at each sound, the house did. If a sparrow brushed a window, the shadesnapped up. The bird, startled, flew off! No, not even a bird must touch the house!”(pg.2). The house appears as if its a living entity who constantly cleans itself and tries to protect itself. So when the dog was allowed in it was obviously because it was special. The dog tracked into the house lots of mud, that the “mice angrily cleaved “(pg.2) and seemed to be looking for the family that once lived there, the McCellans. the dog searched and searched until it dies.
The time came for the house to recite a poem for MRS. McCellans and the poem reviewed a lot of what was going on in their present present :
“And not one will know of the war, not one”(pg3): This line can be compared to the house’s actions. Actions that seem to prove it was aware of the war .
“Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,if mankind perished utterly”(pg3): In this story I assume that mankind has perished, leaving the house behind . And the house doesn’t seem to mind or could even care less that they were gone. It just continued its daily tasks as normal
Reading Response on There Will Come Soft Rains
In a post apocalyptic world, seen in the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” the invention of man outlived man it self. The house has artificial intelligence and continues doing its daily task as if the owners of the house were still living there. The author uses precise words to hint the absence of humans throughout the story.
The story opens up with a voice clock singing the day has begun to an empty house. Breakfast for a family is being prepared based on the quantity that is being described. The house states the date and location which is August 4, 2026 in Allendale, California. It also mentions a birthday and a anniversary, and bills needing to be payed. Tedious things couples would discuss during their mornings. “But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels”(1). Still theirs no human activity. The breakfast went cold and was dispose of. Later on, Bradbury the author says “The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes.This was the one house left standing.”(1) Some major war or catastrophe occurred that destroy the whole city of Allendale. The one thing that remained was the artificial intelligent house which continue its everyday duties.
“Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here is a photograph, a women bent to pick a flower. Still farther over, their image burned on wood in one titanic instance , a small boy, hands flung into the air;higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came”(1)
This gives a little more insight on what took place and why their is no humans around. The family that owned the house perished while enjoying themselves out in their lawn. They were burned , incinerated given the date this was published ,a little after the War World II ,by possibly a nuclear bomb. The only thing that remained was the house.
Even though humans have become extinct in this story the house embodies human like qualities and activities. For instance in the opening of the story “voice clock sang, Tic-Tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would.”(1) A clock does not experience any emotions therefore it cannot experience fear. This an example of how the author uses personification regarding the house. Another example, “it had shut up its window and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia”(2) The house is being describe as being paranoid and jumpy. Again, giving non living things human traits.
Tours the end of the story a tree falls through the kitchen window causing a fire. The house tries to contain the fire but fails and slowly spreads everywhere. As the fire is spreading every where Bradbury describe it as “angry” and “clever before it consumes the entire house. “The house is heard screaming “Help, help! Fire! Run!, run!”(4). The story ended with the beginning of a new day. The house stating the date August 5,2026 repeatedly before it was completely demolished. Although, the house outlived the human race, both machine and humans perished while nature continue its course. The sun rising again and beginning a new day.
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.
Reading Response #5: “There Will Come Soft Rains”
“There Will Come Soft Rain” made me feel for a mechanical house like I would for another human being. Ray Bradbury describes this futuristic house in such great detail by breaking down its daily routine which included serving breakfast to former residents, to keeping the house clean with robotic life size mice. But Ray Bradbury also made me feel as though the house was a living being but had no emotion because it stuck to its everyday routine.
Other than taking care of the family that once resided at house every second of the day, the house was programmed to take charge of itself. In this scene, the house is described as protecting itself by asking for the password to enter, but the author describes the house as if it’s paranoid, “Who goes there? What’s the password?” and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats, it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia (Bradbury, pg.2). Being that this house is functioning on a computer system, it’s no way it can develop a paranoid responds to the outside environment, but with author detail description tries to make me believe it was more than simply a home.
In this scene, you find out that the former family had a dog that survived and the house welcome it in. The family dog cried and whinnied as it searched for its family for two hours in the house before it died. I believe the author showed the cold routine side 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. It lay in the parlor for an hour. Two o’clock, sang a voice. Delicately sensing decay at last, the regiments of mice hummed out as softly as blown gray leaves in an electrical wind. Two-fifteen. The dog was gone. In the cellar, the incinerator glowed suddenly and a whirl of sparks leaped up the chimney (Bradbury, pg.2). First the house shows a faults scene of being paranoid by the author describing, but get rid of the family dog like a piece a trash based on routine system.
During the final hour of the house existence, the house was set a blazed. The house tried its best to save itself and family that didn’t exist, but towards the end the house died. During this scene, the author descried the house like human being burned alive. This is where I felt the author truly gave the house life while taking it away, “The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver in the scalded air. Help, help! Fire! Run, run! Heat snapped mirrors like the brittle winter ice. And the voices wailed Fire, fire, run, run, like a tragic nursery rhyme, a dozen voices, high, low, like children dying in a forest, alone, alone. And the voices fading as the wires popped their sheathings like hot chestnuts. One, two, three, four, five voices died (Bradbury, pg.4). The author also used word Died to describe the voice fading from the house which gave a fault belief to the reader that the house was really alive.
There Will Come Soft Rains
So this story, There Will Come Soft Rains, is a miserable short story about a house that tries to take care of it’s self after nuclear annihilation of the human race, and fails miserably. The house tries to keep up with its daily schedule, which comes off way more then a sane being, then to a manic trying to keep all the bells and whistles running as the train takes a nose dive off the side of the cliff. “Until this day, how well the house had kept its peace[…]it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia.”(pg 2). Even as “inhuman” as the house is, being ruled by programming and such, it is very hard not to empathize with it, though I do think that it is more about the house having a degree of innocence to the chaotic and cacophonous world around it. Even when the familiar face of the family dog comes in.”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. It lay in the parlor for an hour.”(pg 2) he house lets it in, but the house seems to be ignorant to this poor dog’s condition, all the while its making “human” food and basically kills the dog physically, and emotionally. What it shows is that unless probably told other wise, it can not stray from its schedule, even if a family pet is dying of starvation, after which, it sees it as another piece of trash and burns the poor thing. The poor house after this, in all of it’s great upkeep, is eventually undone by the entropy of the outside. “At ten o’clock the house began to die. The wind blew. A failing tree bough crashed through the kitchen window.”(pg 3) “The fire burst the house and let it slam flat down, puffing out skirts of spark and smoke.”(pg 4). Through out the this whole scene its given as if that this was inevitable, and that even as the house fights back, some other processes are benign to all the chaos going on around them. The reason for the houses loss is due to it only being reactive to the intruding violations, instead of proactive, as the house seems to lack total stimuli to anything that happens outside the house until it intrudes. Ray Bradbury may have meant this as an analog for Nuclear warfare that it is firstly a reactionary strategy at best, and secondly, if the worst comes to past and it does happen, no amount of human musings and band aid tactics are going to save us from the fire that will surely come, and rout us. on final just realized note, the beginning is played out much like a Dr. Seuss story. “Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would. The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-nine!” (pg 1). I cant really tell what Bradbury was trying to accomplish here, it has all the rhythm and semi wackiness that a Dr. Seuss has in it, maybe to distance us from the environment to the house or to protract it’s innocence more.
In the short story “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, a self-functioning house that has lost its inhabitants carries on its “life” as if they never left. It can be assumed that they’re dead because of the quote “At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles” (1). But the quote also brings up a question. If the city is in such a state of radioactivity, then how is there still life? The story mentions animals that come near the house but are shooed away by automated movement and noises made. The dog of the house (the house recognized its voice) came in, but not with its normal appearance. “The dog, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud”(2). From what it seems, the animals are all probably malnourished and weak. But that’s not what I want to talk about right now. What I want to discuss is what happens to it. After entering the house, the dog was cleansed and ran around the house, barking at every door, looking for its owners. Finally realizing the house was empty, it ran to the kitchen when it smelled something but was stopped by the door. It proceeded to scratch at it then spun around chasing its tail, then immediately fell over dead. It was so close to death, and wasted what little energy it had left looking for its owners. The body literally stays there for a hour. Its a rather somber moment, and gets darker when the house disposes of the corpse. Its thrown into the fire and that’s that. Its ironic how lively the house seems even though its robotic. Constantly taking action as if the people of the house are even there. It perfectly embodies two lines from the actual poem “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Sara Teasdale. “Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly…” (8-9). Instead of nature, it’s the house in this instance. Many days have passed filled of the same routines to keep the house clean, as well as the useless ones. Drawing baths and making breakfast for a possibly deceased family shows how unnoticed they truly are by the house. As alive as the house seems it is still robotic in nature. The liveliness of the house comes crashing down however, in the literal sense.A tree bough (one of the main branches of a tree) smashed through the kitchen window, breaking a bottle of cleaning solvent that shattered all over the stove, instantly setting a fire (very unlucky). It can be interpreted as the house dying, because realistically, that’s exactly what is happening. That’s how it describes the voices shutting down as the house becomes more damage. As the home burned down, in a sense, the memory of the family that lived in it burns as well.