What is the author's message ?Please include quotations from the text.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "There will come soft rains" Ray Bradbury basically warns society against its worst enemy: society itself.

We learn about what happens in the year 2026, in what seems to be an uninhabited world where only the machines and computers continue to operate. The setting is a typical American home, where we find a technology that surpasses our own. For example, a breakfast of bacon and eggs makes itself in a timely manner. However, there is no sense of human agency as the machines seem to operate in isolation, completely separate from humans. Yet, where are the humans?

The intended message is that humans have the potential and the capability of destroying themselves as a race if they use their intelligence to make poor decisions. Yet, if this happens and we do not take control of our own potential capabilities, they will run out of control, and we will be at the losing end. Being that Bradbury wrote this story in the year 1950, he witnessed the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War. He warns us how war is ultimately what will end our civilization. That war is not humane in any way, shape, or form. That war might be the end of everything.

Perhaps the most poignant moment in the story comes at the end. After we witness a perfectly well-managed home in which things materialize thanks to technology, we do see that the world does need human urgency. When the now-extinct humans do not control the pre-set programming of the computers, the house catches on fire, and everything becomes chaos.

This is when we hear the chilling voice of the house speakers repeating themselves over and over. The world is officially over in the story by then:

Dawn showed faintly in the east. Among the ruins, one wall stood alone. Within the wall, a last voice said, over and over again and again, even as the sun rose to shine upon the heaped rubble and steam:
"Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is…"

Read the study guide:
There Will Come Soft Rains

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