There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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What are the allusions in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

The allusions in "There Will Come Soft Rains" include references to a folk song from the 1600s, an early-twentieth-century poem written following WWI, a biblical entity, and Modern European art.

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An allusion is a reference in a piece of literature to another work of writing or to a cultural or historical event.

The main allusion is to Sara Teasdale's poem "There Will Come Soft Rains." Part of this poem, about nature's indifference to humankind, is quoted in the story:

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

The poem, like Bradbury's story, is a cautionary tale about human pride: we need to be careful about how we behave, because there is no guarantee we will survive as a species.

The image of the bodies of the family etched into the wall of the house is taken directly from John Hersey's bestselling 1946 book Hiroshima . Hersey uses the image of vaporized bodies etched into walls twice in the book, and it is one of the most famous images associated with his work. Using this image, Bradbury makes clear that a nuclear war is what destroyed this civilization. It is also shorthand...

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