What are the 2 main ideas presented in the story "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As a science-fiction author who concerned himself with philosophical and moral ideas, Ray Bradbury presents two significant themes in his short story "There Will Come Soft Rains":  the central irony that humans are harmed rather than saved by their own technology, and the underlying truth that Nature will prevail over both humanity and technology.

  • Humans are destroyed by their own technology

While the family lives a leisurely life with automated stoves, diswashers, tiny robot mice as housekeepers, voice-clocks, garden sprinklers, automated garage doors and cars, etc., the family, ironically, is annihilated by another form of technology: the nuclear explosion, "one titanic instant" that leaves the family as mere silhouettes against the wall of the house.

The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, amall , servicing, attending in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.

  • ┬áNature prevails over both human life and technology

Using Sara Teasdale's poem as a metaphor for the idea that Nature will conquer all that is artificial as well as human forces, Bradbury utilizes the fire to destroy the house's technology that works at a "psychopathic rate." Yet, after this futuristic "Armageddon," the final paragraph presages Nature's ability to restore as well as to prevail: "Dawn showed faintly in the east."

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