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.

One thought on “There Will Come Soft Rains

  1. You have some excellent analysis here, but it is hard to follow your train of thought because everything is crammed into one very long paragraph. Break up your discussion into smaller paragraphs, each with only one main idea, and a topic sentence that reflects that focus (and provides a connection to the rest of your post).

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