There Will Come Soft Rains Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

There Will Come Soft Rains book cover
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What is unusual about all the characters in this story?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The unusual thing about all the characters in Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is that none of them are living human beings. The main character of the story is the technologically advanced smart home, which is completely autonomous and functions independently in the post-apocalyptic world. In the wake of a nuclear attack, the smart home is the only structure standing and continues to function until Nature intervenes. The home is depicted as technologically advanced and intuitive. The home cooks, cleans, announces reminders, and even attempts to protect itself when a fire starts in that attic. With the exception of the sick dog, the home is completely empty but continues to function seamlessly.

In addition to the automated smart home, the dog is another character in the story. The dog is the story's only living character and is ill from being exposed to radioactivity. Robotic mice follow the dog around the home, cleaning up after it until the dog eventually dies. Once the dog dies, the automated home disposes of its body. The clock, the robotic mice, and the voice reading poetry can also be considered characters. The former residents of the smart home died during the nuclear attack and their silhouettes on the side of the home are all that remains of them. Eventually, a tree falls onto the home and the entire house is destroyed during a fire.

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