Is there symbolism in "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury?
The symbolism present in Bradbury's story points to mankind's proclivities for waste, pollution, and destruction, contrasted with the purity and regenerating forces of the natural world.
Even after the family has been obliterated in the nuclear blast, the house continues to consume and waste: it prepares meals that no one eats, cleans the dishes, and flushes the uneaten food "away to the distant sea." The house wastes water on the lawn, as the "sprinklers whirled up in golden founts." Beyond the house, "the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles."
Nature, however, goes about its everyday business: the sun continues to rise and set, the sun shines, and the soft rains come. Fire, one of Nature's most elemental forces, ultimately consumes the house that is symbolic of man's ostensible superiority, but at the story's end, "dawn showed faintly in the east."
Bradbury symbolically suggests that Nature has the capacity to outlive humanity's ruinous ways.
In "There Will Come Soft Rains" Ray Bradbury portrays symbolism through the house, the mice, and the poem. All of these objects reflect mankinds use of technology. We are steering away from human interaction and our routines are becoming monotonous, mundane, technology-driven activities.
The house symbolizes mankind. We are constantly busy. Everyday we check off things on our "to do" lists and make more, longer lists. Our routines are almost robot like. The robots in the story seem to be racing around like our minds at times.
"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." This section is symbolizing religion and seems to say people use religion in a senseless and useless way. Shortly after this quote the dog died. It implied that if you lose religion bad things will happen.
The poem at the end about soft rains explains that life will go on even if we die. Nature and materialistic things (our cell phone and computer) won't care if we are gone. Things will still keep functioning. We need to build human relationships with other people, because they are the ones care about us. We are truly becoming a technology driven world and this story symbolizes this through the house, the mice, and the poem.