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There Will Come Soft Rains

by Ray Bradbury

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What incidents triggered the plot and events in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

The incident that triggers the plot of "There Will Come Soft Rains" is a nuclear disaster.

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A typical plot sequence begins with the exposition and moves into rising actions. Next comes the story's climax followed by the falling actions and resolution. If this question is asking for what event triggered a narrative about a lone house in a completely empty and destroyed neighborhood, then the likely answer is some kind of nuclear disaster. Readers are not told that it was a nuclear disaster, but there are subtle clues in the story that hint toward this event. The nuclear disaster could have been a nuclear bomb, or the disaster could have resulted from a nearby nuclear reactor exploding. The second option would be similar to what happened in Chernobyl.

The first clue that hints at a cataclysmic nuclear event appears when the narrator tells us that it is ten in the morning. We are told that the house is the only house left standing amid "rubble and ashes." The ash is important because it hints at everything having been incinerated. The paragraph finishes by telling readers that a "radioactive glow" could be seen at night.

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.

The very next paragraph tells readers that silhouettes of people have been burned into the side of the house. This is something that was reported to have happened after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II.

The nuclear event incinerated the people, and that is why they are not around to answer the house. Had the people been around, it is quite possible that the fire would have been put out. At the very least, the house would have had help in fighting the blaze.

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