What were the "blind robot faces" in "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"There Will Come Soft Rains" is Ray Bradbury's futuristic short story about an automated house which goes about its daily business despite the fact that the inhabitants have been killed in a nuclear blast that reduced an entire city to "rubble and ashes." The first half of the story chronicles the daily routine of the house, which includes cooking breakfast, making announcements, and then unleashing a group of "tiny robot mice" who emerge from "warrens" in the walls and go about cleaning the house. All is normal until "ten o'clock" when "the house began to die" because a fire starts in the kitchen. The robot mice squirt water on it, but their reservoir is soon depleted. As a final attempt at saving itself, the house utilizes more robots, which drop down from trapdoors in the attic. These "blind robot faces" use their "faucet mouths" to spray the fire with a green retardant. While this works for a while, the fire is far too big. The house is ultimately destroyed except for one wall that has a mechanical voice which simply repeats the date over and over.

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There Will Come Soft Rains

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