There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

There Will Come Soft Rains book cover
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What happened to the "gods" in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

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Although the text never directly answers this question, we can infer that the humans in this story are all dead due to nuclear devastation. This is captured most acutely in this section:

The water pelted window panes, running down the charred west side where the house had been burned, evenly free of its white paint. 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.

The five spots of paint—the man, the woman, the children, the ball—remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer.

The imagery here of human shadows captured in a charred world of charcoaled remains is reminiscent of actual human shadows that were created when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima. In close proximity to the epicenter of devastation, humans were evaporated, their final images being burned onto sidewalks and houses where they stood.

This is further supported by the themes of the story. One such theme is that the technology humans create will fail eventually; in the story, the house cannot effectively put out a fire (despite its best and noble efforts) in the absence of humans, and it eventually collapses in total ruin. Likewise, the technology behind the atomic bomb has failed all of mankind; instead of keeping them safe, it has killed them all.

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