In There Will Come Soft Rains, what does the setting suggest about human beings?
The setting described in the poem There Will Come Soft Rains suggests that the world will go on, much the same as it is now, even if mankind were to perish or destroy itself (in war, for example). "Soft rains," "the smell of the ground," "swallows circling," and "frogs in the pools" will continue to sing and make the various and vibrant sounds of life. The colors, fragrances, and sounds of the Earth will continue, regardless of man's presence or absence on this planet. The setting suggests, in other words, that human beings are not essential to life on planet earth. It suggests that we humans have an inflated sense of our importance; that we are not so central as we believe ourselves to be. That is why the speaker says "neither bird nor tree" would know or care "if mankind perished utterly." The seasons would continue to come and go; the rhythms of the planet (and the beauty and diversity of her life forms) do not depend on require interference, or even the existence of humans at all.