There Will Come Soft Rains: Analysis
The bond between man and technology has rapidly grown over the past two centuries. In the 50’s, people were fearful of a nuclear holocaust, and they were fearful of being made obsolete by advancing technology. Bradbury produces the image of a lone house, surrounded by desolation, in a world of ruins that seem to have once been flourishing. The house runs itself, seeming abandoned, it continues with its daily routine. It is clear a great tragedy has occurred, clues point to some sort of nuclear war as the city has a radiating glow about it. Bradbury gives symbols throughout the story of how humans bond with technology, although seemingly beneficial, was the ultimate source of obliteration.
The scene is abnormally serene, as the house goes about its routine, reading off a schedule into emptiness, the reader is left wondering where the human residents of this home are. It reads off a date into the future, August 4 2026 revealing that the house is more advanced than anything of todays age. Outside it is raining, the rain pays no mind to this empty world and it continues to fall softly echoing through the lonely home. We are given more evidence to what has occurred here as the sun rises, the house stands alone in a city of rubble that gives off a radioactive glow for miles. We see an image on the side of the house where all of the paint has been charred off except for 4 sillhouettes. A man and woman doing yard work, and two children throwing a ball that never came down. They symbolize a loss of hope, humanities fate due to a fault of technology.
This is where we realize a nuclear holocaust has occurred, leaving the world empty and scarred. Weapons that could destroy the world dozens of times over were unleashed upon the earth, leaving nothing but a solemn empty world, and a lone house. The house seems to be protecting itself from the outside, as it will not even allow a bird to touch its frame. It is protecting the thousands of attendants inside, none of which living. Technology has seemed to outlive mankind, as well as destroyed it. Making the theme clear, how something beneficial can quickly become destructive and perilous. The house shows that technology is humanities last ‘living’ footprint on earth, it creates a struggle between nature and technology as the reamining wildlife come to the house to seek refuge. A mangled dog whines at the door, and is let in as the house recognizes the voice. As the dog walks in he is not greeted by friendly human faces, but instead robots seemingly angry at the mess he brings in. This event shows the irony of the entity of the house, as it acts human as if it has emotions, although impossible. The animal goes into a frenzy and dies, and the house cleans it up as if nothing occurred dragging its body into the furnace, another symbol of lost hope. It is here where the house begins to read a poem, seemingly pessimestic until you realize how optimistic it really is in comparison to what has really occurred. The poem depicts a world where humans have perished, and explains that not a single animal nor tree would know or even care we are gone. But the horrific reality is shown by the mangled dog that died on the floor of the house, the war brought by humans has left the dog tortured and has left the world outside charred.
Nature seems to enact revenge upon the house, sending a tree branch flying through the kitchen window causing a large fire. The house panics, and hastily attempts to save itself. The house battles the fire and almost succeeds but the fire grows too strong, and the house runs out of its water reserve. Nature overcomes technology, the house joins its neighbors as a smoking pile of rubble, while a lone voice reads off poetry. This depicts an incredibly sad mood, and further supports the theme of downfall at the hands of technology. The message Bradbury gives is that our mechanized world will eventually destroy our people if we do not be careful and control what we do with technology. His message also shows that technology can never truly replace mankind, only mimic the actions of its creators. Bradbury wrote most of his stories in the 1950s, at the time of the nuclear scare and where people thought robots were going to take all their jobs. Bradbury gives solemn tones of ignorance, ignorance of technology and how it could easily obliterate all of mankind, and harm nature as well. Bradbury writes this story as a warning of our future, and the actions we must take to prevent this horrific outcome.
The house itself represents mankind, having many parts working to keep it running fluidly but ultimately failing due to its imbalance with nature. There is no doubt that advancement in technology is crucial in advancing the human race, as it has for centuries. But the harm can easily begin to outweigh the benefit if mankind allows ignorance prevail, and people blindly allow the advancing technology to take over our lives. Technology can never replace our conscience or emotions always giving man, the creator, the ultimate advantage.
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