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What symbolism is used in "There Will Come Soft Rains"  in The Martian Chronicles by...

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alwestfall | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:50 AM via web

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What symbolism is used in "There Will Come Soft Rains"  in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury?

 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:21 AM (Answer #1)

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Symbolism abounds in Ray Bradbury's futuristic story "There Will Come Soft Rains."  The entire story operates as one enormous extended metaphor, chronicling the dangers of humanity's over-dependence on technology and the frightening threat of atomic warfare. 

The most prominent symbol within the story is the actual house.  Even after the family has died, the house remains, dedicated to its little daily chores, humming along despite the destruction of the world around it:

"The sun came out from behind the rain. The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing."

Bradbury uses the functions of the house to symbolize routine and order amid chaos and dysfunction.  The fact that Bradbury has the technology of the house surviving after its owners are deceased reveals the author's belief that humanity will be outlasted by its own technology. 

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Kristen Lentz

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