In Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains," what point does the author make about the nature of machines and technology?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "There Will Come Soft Rains," Bradbury presents a contrasting view of machines and technology. On the one hand, technology has made life easier and more comfortable for people. The house and its various machines, for example, cook breakfast for the McClellan family each morning and remind them when bills are due for payment.

On the other hand, however, technology is responsible for the destruction of humanity. We learn this from the following lines:

The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes…At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles.

The nuclear bomb thus becomes a potent symbol of the destructive nature of technology. All the members of the McClellan family are dead, with the exception of the family's dog, who falls prey to radiation sickness (and dies later):

The dog, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores.

So, while machines and technology offer convenience to humans, they also have the potential to cause unprecedented levels of destruction. This stark warning lies at the heart of Bradbury's story. 

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There Will Come Soft Rains

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