Only as the story progresses do you learn something of what has happened outside the McClellan home. What effect do you think this delay creates?

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The delay in knowing what happened outside the house builds a sense of foreboding. The eeriness of the ordinary functioning of the house as it goes about its everyday business without inhabitants builds a sense of unease. Words choices Bradbury makes add to the feeling that something is not right. For example, the words "empty" and "emptiness" are used to describe the house in the first paragraph. Later, we find the word "waiting" and "wait" repeated twice as the garage door opens but nobody gets in the car to drive away. Saying the eggs were "shriveled" and the toast like "stone" continues to build up ominous imagery that something has gone wrong.

The busy activities of the house, with its nonstop activity, seem pointless and disconnected without human presences, showing the difference between the reasoning mind of a human being and the mindless programming of a piece of technology.

It is only as we are led outside to the garden sprinklers washing the side of the house that we find out that the paint has burned off the building, leaving only the imprint of the inhabitants outside, working or playing. It is at this point that we begin to realize that nuclear devastation has probably hit the area.

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By not telling his readers what has happened to the people and society at the beginning of the story, “There Will Come Soft Rains”, Bradbury is building suspense and mystery.  It’s a wonderful technique to get the reader interested and excited to read for deeper meaning and to find clues and connections to what is really going on in the story.  The vacant house full of technology and gadgets to serve the inhabitants of the house continues to beep, make breakfast, and play the owners’ favorite tunes.  The fact that there is no one there to enjoy this easy lifestyle adds confusion to the story.  The story slowly unfolds for the pleasure of the reader, and when it is finally revealed that a nuclear war has occurred, the reader is able to piece together all the context clues and have a satisfying reading experience. 

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