There Will Come Soft Rains Analysis

Style and Technique (Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

At the heart of the story’s irony is a poem by Sara Teasdale that the mechanical house chooses to read when the former lady of the house, Mrs. McClellan, is no longer there to express a preference. The title of the story comes from the first line of the poem: “There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground.” Teasdale goes on to create a poetic world in which swallows, robins, and frogs continue their singing, oblivious to humankind and its wars:

And not one will know of the war, not oneWill care at last when it is done.Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,If mankind perished utterly;And Spring herself, when she woke at dawnWould scarcely know that we were gone.

The irony exists in the way in which Bradbury’s fictional world in “There Will Come Soft Rains” parallels the imaginative world of Teasdale’s poem. By placing this poem in the middle of the story, just before the house starts to die, Bradbury draws attention to the role that nature plays in its death, but also to nature’s lack of concern for humanity. There is also the additional irony that this poem about nature’s lack of concern for human life is picked at random by a house designed to operate at the beck and call of people who are no longer even...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Historical Context

Aftermath of World War II
Bradbury wrote "There Will Come Soft Rains" in the early 1950s. The memory of World War II was fresh...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Setting

The setting of "There Will Come Soft Rains" is very precisely stated in the opening of the story. It is the morning of August 4, 2026, and...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Literary Style

Irony
Bradbury uses irony to great effect in the story. Irony in this case means presenting an outcome of a situation that is...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Social Sensitivity

Bradbury wrote "There Will Come Soft Rains" in the early 1950s. The memory of World War II was fresh in people's minds, particularly the...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Compare and Contrast

1951: The first thermonuclear device is detonated by the United States in the mid-Pacific. The island atoll of Eniwetok is obliterated...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Topics for Discussion

1. Discuss the benefits and risks of nuclear weapons and other forms of potentially destructive technology.

2. The story...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Find out about the house that Microsoft founder Bill Gates built in the Seattle, Washington, area. What can computers control in that...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Topics for Further Study

Find out about the house that Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates built in the Seattle, Washington area. What will computers do for...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Related Titles / Adaptations

Bradbury's The Veldt tells of a brother and sister who have the power to go anywhere in the world through their nursery's electronic...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Media Adaptations

The Martian Chronicles was adapted as a film for television in 1979, starring Rock Hudson, Bernadette Peters, Roddy McDowell, and...

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There Will Come Soft Rains What Do I Read Next?

"The Veldt," a story included in Bradbury's collection The Illustrated Man, tells of a brother and sister who have the power to go...

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There Will Come Soft Rains For Further Reference

Everman, Welch D. "August 2026: 'There Will Come Soft Rains': Overview." In Reference Guide to Short Fiction, First Edition. Edited by...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Bibliography and Further Reading

Sources
Bradbury, Ray. Zen and the Art of Writing, Capra Press, 1973.

Bradbury, Ray and Jeffrey M. Elliot...

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There Will Come Soft Rains Bibliography (Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Bloom, Harold, ed. Ray Bradbury. New York: Chelsea House, 2001.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” New York: Chelsea House, 2001.

Eller, Jonathan R., and William F. Touponce. Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2004.

Reid, Robin Ann. Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Touponce, William F. Naming the Unnameable: Ray Bradbury and the Fantastic After Freud. Mercer Island, Wash.: Starmont House, 1997.

Weist,...

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