There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

There Will Come Soft Rains book cover
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What is the theme of "There Will Come Soft Rains"? Why do you believe this is the theme?

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One of the primary themes Bradbury explores throughout the short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" concerns the dual nature of technology, which has the potential to be both convenient or destructive. In the story, Bradbury illustrates a fully automated smart home, which completes everyday functions that make life easy for the McClellan family. The smart home cooks, cleans, entertains, and reminds the McClellan family of upcoming events, making their lives easy and pampered. The computerized, futuristic home performs countless functions and even attempts to preserve itself when a fire erupts in the kitchen. The automated, self-sufficient home emphasizes the convenience of technology and represents the positives attached to innovative technological advancements.

Despite the numerous helpful, convenient aspects of technology, Bradbury also depicts the destructive nature of technology by setting the automated home in the midst of a nuclear wasteland. Similar to the smart home, the nuclear bomb is also a product and symbol of technology. However, the nuclear bomb completely eradicates civilization, leaving nothing but radioactive residue and destruction in its wake. By juxtaposing the advanced smart home in the middle of a desolate nuclear wasteland, Bradbury examines the dual nature of technology, which can be helpful or destructive. It is ultimately up to humans how they choose to utilize advanced technology, which has the potential to improve or destroy civilization.