There are many examples of figurative language in “There Will Come Soft Rains.” The story is post-apocalyptic, and there is no one in the house. In order to show the reader the devastation that has occurred in the house, the writer uses figurative language such as similes to indicate no one is alive. For example, he says: “At eight-thirty the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone.” The toast is compared to stone, letting us know that no one has touched it and it has hardened.
Some of the similes used are happy images in direct contrast with the idea the reader has that something is very wrong. For example: “and the murmur of a fresh jungle rain, like other hoofs, falling upon the summer-starched grass.” The rain here is being compared to the sound of an animal’s hoofs, and it occurs in the nursery, where there are many happy images, but no sign of life.
Another simile occurs when the author is describing the furnace: “of an incinerator which sat like evil Baal in a dark corner.” This is a particularly strong example because it alludes to Baal, who is an evil king in hell. This contributes to the suspense of the story by giving the reader an uneasy feeling.