In "There Will Come Soft Rains," what can you infer about the future of the house when the fire starts in the kitchen?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is clear that the fully mechanised house puts up quite a fight against the fire and has all of its defences ready and in order. However, the narrator gives us every indication that the fire is going to "kill" the house by giving us such statements as "the house began to die" and "The house tried to save itself." What seems to have really overpowered the machines in the house who are responsible for putting out fires is the fact that when the falling tree bough crashes through the kitchen, cleaning solvent, which is obviously immensely flammable, broke open over the stove. Note how the fire's progress is described:

"Fire!" screamed a voice. The house lights flashed, water pumps shot water from the ceilings. But the solvent spread on the linoleum licking, eating, under the kitchen doo, while the voices took it up in chorus: "Fire, fire, fire!"

Thus we can see that the spread of the solvent underneath doors greatly helped the fire in its battle against the house. We can thus infer that when the kitchen with all of its flammable contents was set ablaze, the house was going to be completely destroyed.

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