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How does the setting become important in Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains?"

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steven3121 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:16 PM via iOS

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How does the setting become important in Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM (Answer #1)

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The setting acquires importance in Bradbury's story as it is a testament to both the greatest of human achievement and the folly of human action.  The technological marvel of the house is impressive.  One can only find the invention of the house breathtaking with its self- cleaning mechanism and its ability to provide amenities and luxuries to its inhabitants.  Yet, when it becomes evident that it is human destruction that has rendered a world in which people no longer live, the setting of the story becomes a dual symbol.  The marvel of modern science in the house has to be put alongside the death and destruction that science has caused.  

The world that Bradbury has constructed is one in which scientific prowess is evident, but no one is alive to enjoy it.  The setting acquires importance because it is a reminder of the greatest of attributes of human beings in terms of their spirit of invention.  At the same time, the setting becomes a stark reminder of how destructive human capacity can be.  It is here where the setting gains significance.  It enables the reader to reflect about the wonders that exist in their own world alongside the capacity for destruction.

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