There Will Come Soft Rains Essay - Critical Essays

Ray Bradbury

Critical Overview

Despite the popularity of writers like H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, science fiction was not well-regarded by critics at the time ''There Will Come Soft Rains" was published in the early 1950s. Though science fiction movies and books abounded, most received little or no critical attention. Bradbury was an exception to this trend, and indeed his popularity has given rise to the permanent acceptance of science fiction. Little criticism has focused specifically on the story "There Will Come Soft Rains," however, The Martian Chronicles, the collection in which it appeared, has been the subject of numerous articles. Edward J. Gallagher calls it ''one of those acknowledged science fiction masterpieces," in the book Ray Bradbury. William F. Touponce talks about Bradbury's work in general, praising it for "its rich imaginative vision, and...for the way in which it links up with the larger literary movements of the twentieth century, surrealism and existentialism." Specifically regarding The Martian Chronicles, Touponce expresses admiration for its themes, which "[express] the guilt of the twentieth century's destruction of exotic and primitive civilizations."

However, Bradbury's detractors complain that his style suffers for the sake of his ideas. Kent Forrester, in an article titled "The Dangers of Being Earnest: Ray Bradbury and The Martian Chronicles" says that "the stories are weakened" by Bradbury's fervent belief in his ideas,...

(The entire section is 343 words.)