Imagery in "There Will Come Soft Rains" is often used to humanize the abandoned house. Though the humans who once lived there were killed in a nuclear explosion, the house continues to operate as though nothing has changed. The juxtaposition between the house's cheerful sense of normalcy with the eerie lack of people creates an uncanny tone.
One example of such imagery occurs when Bradbury reveals that the breakfast made for the family lays on the table uneaten:
At eighty-thirty the eggs were shrivelled and the toast was like stone. An aluminium wedge scraped them into the sink, where hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea.
The food going bad subverts the earlier inviting imagery that was created when it was cooked. With no human beings around to consume the food, the house itself pushes the eggs and toast down a "metal throat." Even the heat of the water seems almost human since heat is often associated with emotion.
Heat reoccurs throughout the story, often in fire imagery. The fire in the hearth is emphasized when the house lights a cigar for the deceased father:
In the metal stand opposite the hearth where a fire now blazed up warmly, a cigar popped out, half an inch of soft gray ash on it, smoking, waiting.
Additionally, the circuits in the beds warm up once night falls. Evoking the explosion which killed the house's inhabitants as easily as it does cheerful domesticity, this imagery portends doom. However, once the dog dies, the fire imagery within the house becomes sinister:
The dog was gone.
In the cellar, the incinerator glowed suddenly and a whirl of sparks leaped up the chimney.
The imagery without context might seem inviting and cheerful, but knowing that the sparks are the result of the consumption of the dog's corpse makes it ironic.
The final destruction of the house by fire is also packed with similar imagery. The fire eats away at the "oily flesh" of the paintings on the walls, "tenderly crisping" the canvases as well. By using words that evoke eating and food, the fire becomes monstrous, creating an urgent and frightening atmosphere. Even the final collapse of the house is characterized through humanizing imagery:
The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver in the scalded air.
The structure and wiring within the house become its bones and nerve endings. Bradbury has so thoroughly made it seem like a character with goals and feelings that the description takes on a grotesque quality. Overall, the imagery in the story generates pathos and horror, blending the sights, smells, and feelings within an inviting futuristic home with dread, destruction, and decay.