In "There Will Come Soft Rains," discuss and explain the use of irony in building and making his story.

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Irony is crucial to what Bradbury is trying to communicate in this excellent story that presents us with a future world that is so advanced that human beings need do nothing, because technologically advanced robots do everything for them. The most important moment of irony comes when the computer chooses to read the poem that gives the story its title, "There will come soft rains." It is highly ironic that the computer would choose to read a poem about the soft, life-giving rains of spring at a time when the "soft rain" of deadly radioactivity is falling. It is also ironic that the poem should refer to the death of mankind, not knowing that it would actually happen. Note what the poem says:

And not one will know of teh war, not one

Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,

If mankind perished utterly;


And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn

Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Note how the poem explains the natural world continuing unawares, even after a war and the extinction of the human species, much as the workings of the house continue after the family has perished.

Irony, therefore, is central to the story on so many different levels. Humanity is shown to have reached great technological capabilities but also technological advances have resulted in humanity's own extinction, thus presenting us with a severe warning about the dangers of technology.

Read the study guide:
There Will Come Soft Rains

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question