In There will come soft rains, what are all of the 'what if' questions?
I love this story. It's an awesome look into a possible future, and the weirdest part is how I see some of it coming true in my own household. For example, my wife has now purchased two robot vacuum cleaners. One that does carpets and one that mops our hard floors . . . with water. Both are GPS controlled. There are other parts that have come true as well. Smart homes are real things. They track your movements through the house and adjust temperature zones and lighting as needed. High end stereo systems can be told what mood you are in and play music that coincides with it . . . and change light displays colors as well. Every time I read Bradbury's story, I see more and more correlations and "what ifs."
My biggest what if is, "If such and such part has come true, what if the rest of it comes true?" I'm referring to the nuclear holocaust part. It's not exactly a world wide fear now, but during the Cold War it was. And there's no reason that it won't become a fear again as more and more countries gain nuclear weaponry.
I've always wondered "what if the people survived?" They'd be the only survivors with a house that cares for their every need.
The poem in the story talks about how nature wouldn't care if people were on the planet or not. The house acts the same way. It goes about its business with nobody there. "What if the house noticed it was empty? Would it act differently? How?"
"What if the house had emotions?" Would it be sad the people are gone? Or would it be glad because there is likely less mess to clean up as often?
"What if the fire didn't destroy the house?" How long could the house have kept on "living?"
"What if the Sara Teasedale poem never existed?" Would Bradbury have come up with the same concept on his own?