What is Bradbury's main purpose in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

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edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps Bradbury's main purpose in "There Will Come Soft Rains" is to observe that no matter how technologically accomplished we become, humanity's overriding inclination is to wage war. And after the development of the devastating weapons unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, Bradbury observes that the stakes in waging war have grown frighteningly higher than previous wars.

Bradbury also suggests that we, as designers of the technology that powers the story's empty house, may be reflecting our own diminishing humanity. The robots who first let in the whining dog and then clean up its carcass are "angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience." Of all the human emotions to assign to robots, Bradbury chose anger, not compassion.

Another "convenience" of the house reflects man's diminishing humanity. A robot voice reads aloud a poem at day's end; literature is, ironically, considered a discipline of the humanities, yet it is left up to a machine to coldly recite what perhaps Bradbury felt should remain the domain of the human voice.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One could argue that Bradbury's main purpose for writing "There Will Come Soft Rains" is to warn readers about the dual nature of technology and illustrate how technology cannot save humanity. In an ever-increasing technical society, citizens have become dependent on technology to make their lives easier.

Despite the many advantages of technology, it can also be used for destructive purposes, like developing nuclear weapons capable of annihilating nations. Throughout the short story, the house's amazing technical feats are juxtaposed against the destructive nature of nuclear bombs to emphasize the dual nature of technology.

Bradbury also warns humans that despite our technical capabilities, we are in charge of how we choose to utilize our technology. While humans can develop technology to make our everyday lives easier, we can also create weapons that are capable of destroying everything. Essentially, technology will not be able to save humanity by preventing humans from making terrible, disastrous decisions, like resorting to nuclear warfare to end conflicts between nations.

price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bradbury’s main purpose in writing the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” is to warn his readers about their overuse of technology. The houses in this society that do everything for their families, from fixing breakfast to making sure they get to appointments on time, is representative of how we have allowed technology to run our lives. We’ve become so reliant on technology that it becomes impossible to be self-sufficient. However, Bradbury’s message runs much deeper. The people in this society have been destroyed by a nuclear war. No one remains to take advantage of the technology they invented. The irony lies in the fact that the very technology that humans created also destroyed them. Bradbury’s story is a cautionary tale about giving technology too much power in one’s life.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the main purpose of this story is to warn people of the dangers of relying too much on technology.

In the society in the story, people have come to rely on technology for everything.  The house that we hear about takes care of its inhabitants in every possible way.  They really do not have to do anything anymore.  At the same time, the people have also come to have too much military technology.  This technology is what ends up destroying the whole city (and maybe the whole society).

So Bradbury is saying that people have devised too much technology and have come to rely on it too much.

bhattara | Student

What part of modern civilization survives the death of human life in Bradbury's story? What is the significance of the survival of that one things, in this account of a human home and a nuclear holocaus?

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There Will Come Soft Rains

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