There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

There Will Come Soft Rains book cover
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What do you believe has happened to the inhabitants of the house? Support your response with textual evidence.

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Bradbury begins the short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" by offering a vivid description of a technologically advanced smart-home as the house automatically performs its daily functions. While the house cooks and cleans itself, it becomes obvious that the home is completely empty and readers begin to wonder where the family has gone. Bradbury then describes the environment outside of the home by writing,

"The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing. At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles" (1).

Astute readers can infer that the family has died in a nuclear explosion. The "radioactive glow" is a telling piece of evidence that indicates a nuclear explosion has taken place and destroyed the city. Initially, it is not clear whether or not the family died during the explosion or from the deadly radioactivity. In the next paragraph, Bradbury writes,

"The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down" (2).

The silhouettes of the family reveal that they were outside, enjoying the day during the nuclear attack. The blast was so powerful that it immediately killed them, leaving their silhouettes burnt onto the side of the home.

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