There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

There Will Come Soft Rains book cover
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In "There Will Come Soft Rains," Bradbury describes the house as "an altar with ten thousand attendants." Who do you think are the "gods" being worshiped? In what ways are they godlike?

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The entire context of this quote is as follows:

The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.

The house stands as an altar to the people who live there, and without them, all of its technological advancements are rendered useless. Breakfast is made but not eaten, raked down a "metal throat" which "digests" the uneaten food and sends it all to the sea. Cards, martinis, and egg salad sandwiches are put out for an afternoon break, but there is no one left to need such a break. A nursery projects calming images for a child who is no longer there to enjoy them.

This house was created to make human life easier. In their absence, it attempts to continue its mechanical functions, but the routines are rendered purposeless.

Humans are godlike to the house, therefore, because they created the technology needed to make their lives easier—and which cannot sustain itself without their interventions. The house is consumed by fire in the end, and the reader must imagine whether the outcome would have been different if humans had been able to assist. Humans are also godlike in their position above all of the technology, which acts as servants to mankind with only the desire of pleasing their controlling "gods." Humans provide the ultimate purpose to the house, and all is lost without them.

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