The house identifies the Teasdale poem as Mrs. McClellan's favorite.  What does this suggest about Mrs. McClellan?  

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "There Will Come Soft Rains," the fact that Mrs. McClellan has a favorite poem suggests that she is appreciative of the arts and of literature. She is, perhaps, a rather cultured and well-read lady. Moreover, the fact that she appreciates this poem, in particular, also suggests that she enjoys the natural world since this poem is filled with relevant images, like swallows and frogs.

Looking deeper, however, it is ironic that this poem is her favorite, because it has actually foreshadowed her own death. Remember that Teasdale's poem is a poem about war. Specifically, it is about how nature will not notice the destruction of humanity when they are wiped out as a result of their conflicts. Mrs. McClellan and her family have died as a result of a nuclear bomb, and the only survivor (besides the house) is their pet dog. Teasdale's poem has, therefore, foreshadowed this event, but Mrs. McClellan will never know of this tragic irony.

shelly-fee | Student

Mrs. McClellan considered Teasdale’s poem to be her favorite during a time when nuclear war was a clear threat. Both the poem and Bradbury's short story explore a scenario where war has led to the eradication of humanity. Despite the devastation that war has wrought upon human beings, the rest of the world continues to survive. War is therefore considered to be futile, as the loss of humankind will have little to no effect on the forces of nature.

"There Will Come Soft Rains" is a poem that tackles a sobering subject. It is not a poem to be taken lightly, which implies that Mrs. McClellan employed a critical frame of mind. The fact that Mrs. McClellan chose Teasdale's poem as her favorite implies that she agreed with Teasdale’s assertion that war means nothing when humanity has destroyed itself. This makes her death more poignant, as there is a high likelihood that she had anti-war sentiments, and yet died in a war as a civilian casualty.

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There Will Come Soft Rains

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