illustration of a nature scene with a bird in the grass next to a puddle that shows a translucent reflection of a human

There Will Come Soft Rains

by Ray Bradbury
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I am writing an essay on why the house serves as the main character in "There Will Come Soft Rains," and I am having trouble finding enough evidence as to why the house is the main character to complete my essay. Do you have any suggestions?

When writing an essay on why the house serves as the main character in "There Will Come Soft Rains," you might consider that the house is the only character, or potential character, in the story and that it is constantly described in language that stops just short of personification.

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The complete lack of human characters in "There Will Come Soft Rains" suggests two possible approaches for the reader. You can regard it as a story without characters and comment on this unusual, though not unique, approach to telling a story. Alternatively, you can treat it as a story in which the house is not just the main character, but the only one.

The second approach is perfectly viable. The house speaks often, and it sings and recites poetry, giving it a far more lyrical quality than many human characters in other stories. The house is also described in language that stops just short of personification. It asks the inhabitants who no longer exist to get up "as if it were afraid that nobody would." It shuts itself up to repel possible invaders "in an old-maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia."

This near-personification makes the story a near-tragedy. The house is assiduous in looking after the people who are no longer there, and it almost seems conscious that the purpose of its existence has been removed, and it grows correspondingly anxious. At the end of the story, it burns to what would be death, if it could die, and this would be tragic, if tragedy were possible. The silent, hollowed-out quality of the story forces the reader to search for every possible indication of human feeling and motivation in the mechanical workings of an empty house.

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