Explain how Bradbury uses time lapses to develop the plot in the story "There Will Come Soft Rains."Refer to the text.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After the occupants of the house are destroyed by nuclear war, the technologically advanced home of the now-destroyed occupants survives them.  With mechanical precision it proceeds in its measured routine.  The time-lapses represent the dehumanization of the occupants of the house whose lives have become regimented by machines.  Gone is any imagination, any impulsiveness.  For, each day they eat the same breakfast, do the same things. 

When the dog, subjected to radiation, barks, the house door opens, but there is no one to attend to it.  Therefore, it dies; the mechanical mice summarily sweep it up and incinerate it.  Oblivious to the fact that the residents no longer are present, the house follows its mechanical path as, ironically, Sara Teasdale's poem is recited:  "And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn/Would scarcely know that we were gone.  Thus, it is that the house is destroyed by Nature, a force that all must answer.  For, Nature does not bow to technology; instead, it rages against it as fire--clever in its maneuvering--"snakes" its way throughout the house, turning outside, up through the attic to the pumps. The explosion brings the house into a "cluttered mound deep under." 

Even so, one last vestige of technology remains, voicing "over and over again and again...:  'Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5,2026.'"  On August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb was  dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

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There Will Come Soft Rains

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