What is the daily routine of the automated house?  

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The daily routine of the house begins with the family wake-up call from the voice-clock at seven o’clock in the morning. The voice-clock then proceeds to announce the breakfast time as the kitchen stove prepares the family breakfast that comprises of toast, eggs, bacon, two coffees, and two glasses of cold milk. The kitchen ceiling announces the day’s date and city, repeating the date three times then proceeds to make any other important announcement such as birthdays or bills due. At eight o’clock, the walls announce that it is school time. The announcement is usually followed by slamming doors as the family dashes out. The weather box states the day’s weather and advises those exiting the house on the appropriate dressing. In the meantime, the garage and car doors open, awaiting the inhabitants for departure.

At eight thirty, an aluminum wedge scrapes the breakfast remains into the sink, and the dishes are disposed into a washer from where they come out clean. At nine o’clock, the clock prompts the robot mice that emerge and clean the entire house. At a quarter past ten, the sprinklers come on to water the garden.

At two-thirty, tables sprout from the walls as playing cards, martinis, and egg-salad sandwiches are set. The children’s hour begins at four thirty, and the nursery walls turn into glowing glass with different animal shapes.

At five o’clock, the bath is filled with hot water and dinner is prepared and served between six and eight o’clock. Meanwhile, a warm fire is lit opposite the hearth as a cigar pops out waiting to be smoked. At nine o’clock, the beds are warmed, and at five minutes past nine, a voice inquires which poem Mrs. McClellan would like recited as the family retires to bed.

mdelmuro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

7 a.m. - The house wakes everyone (no one) up. 

7:09  - Breakfast time for a family of four: "eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk."

8:01 - The house ushers the dead children and adults to work and school.

8:30 - The house cleans up the uneaten breakfast. 

9:15 - The house sends out its robots to clean the entire place. 

10:15 - The sprinklers turn on. 

Noon - The house opens up for the family dog ("The front door recognized the dog voice and opened.") The dog is emaciated and suffers from radiation poisoning and dies. By 2 p.m., the house had removed the dead dog and most likely incinerated it.

2:35 p.m. - Bridge tables come out from the floor and lunch and drinks are served.

4 - The card tables and drinks are put away.  

4:30 - Nursery walls that look similar to those Bradbury describes in "The Veldt" glow waiting for the dead children. 

5 - Bath time

6, 7 and 8 - Dinner time and post-dinner drinks in the study with the fireplace glowing. 

9 - The beds are warmed electronically. 

9:05 - The house reads the Sara Teasdale poem "There Will Come Soft Rains."

10 - "The house began to die." A tree crashes into the house, a fire is ignited and the place burns up.

The story ends with the house's frightening repetition of the date: “Today is August 5, 2057, today is August 5, 2057, today is …"

Read the study guide:
There Will Come Soft Rains

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