What is an example of suspense in the short story, "There Will Come Soft Rains"?  

Expert Answers
mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury creates suspense in two places in his short story, "There Will Come Soft Rains." The story is about an automated house that still functions in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. It is the only house left in a city that has been leveled.

But before revealing that the attack has occurred, we feel suspense as the house goes through its daily routine of preparing breakfast, making important announcements and doing the cleaning. All of this takes place without a hint that any humans are around. The reader wonders why this house is still going through the motions when no human is occupying it. We don't learn about the attack until the house has performed several of its morning duties.

The reader may actually begin to look at the house as a living entity as it continues with its day. Because we have an emotional interest in the house we definitely feel suspense as the fire breaks out. We want the house to survive, just as we would a human protagonist. When we learn that "reinforcements" have been released to fight the fire we feel some relief. Unfortunately, the house cannot be saved and we experience grief over the loss of the last vestiges of intelligence and activity in the gutted city. 

Read the study guide:
There Will Come Soft Rains

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question