To whom is the house speaking?
In Ray Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," the completely automated smart home is the only house standing in the wake of a nuclear attack. The technologically advanced smart home is personified in the story and seamlessly performs daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and issuing reminders. Although the inhabitants of the home are deceased, the automated smart home continues to perform its duties. In the morning, the programmed kitchen makes breakfast while the speakers announce,
"Today is August 4, 2026...in the city of Allendale, California...Today is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas, and light bills" (Bradbury, 1).
The home is speaking to the members of the family, who have recently died in the nuclear blast. As time passes throughout the day, the home continues to autonomously perform its duties by reminding the family members to wear their raincoats. The readers learn that the last name of the family is McClellan, after the speaker inquires about what poem Mrs. McClellan would like to hear. Overall, the smart home is speaking to the members of the McClellan family.
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