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In Ray Bradbury's famous short story, technology collides with Nature, and it is the natural world which prevails. The setting, therefore, is extremely significant because it is the element which the author employs in order to express his theme.
Two descriptions of the house that are significant are of (1) the nursery walls and (2) the Sara Teasdale poem describing the burgeoning of Spring.
1. the nursery walls
Much as in another Bradbury story, "The Veldt," the nursery creates a virtual reality of a "crisp" meadow with the sound of bees and the "lazy bumble of a purring lion." The "patter of okapi feet" is sounded, as well, as is the soft murmur of rain, then patches of "warm endless sky" appear as the jungle animals approach the water holes. These images, though beautiful, are false and but transitory.
2. the poem, "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Sara Teasdale
Again, the motif of nature presents itself in the lovely poem of Teasdale that creates a cruel irony with its final lines,
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
For, while at first it seems that the technology of the atomic explosion has annihilated the living creatures and the automated house continues its functions, oblivious to nature's defeats, the wind rises at ten o'clock and a tree limb crashes through the kitchen window, knocking cleaning solvent onto the stove, igniting the room. Soon the fire spreads, but the automatic sprinklers cannot control the fire fueled by the oxygen entering through the broken window.
"Smoke and silence...Dawn showed faintly in the east...." The house and its occupants are destroyed, but nature survives as a new day begins upon "the heaped rubble and steam," the destruction of man's technology. Man and his technology are transitory; it is Nature that is supreme, for it prevails over destruction; nothing is more powerful than Nature.
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