illustration of a nature scene with a bird in the grass next to a puddle that shows a translucent reflection of a human

There Will Come Soft Rains

by Ray Bradbury

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What kind of "personality" does the house have?

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The automated house in Ray Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" could be portrayed as persistent, efficient, precise and conscientious in the opening 15 lines. 

Persistence is represented in the first paragraph as the house repeats the time of day and urges its inhabitants to get up. Even though the house is described as being empty it continues to recite its daily wake-up call.

In paragraph two, the house is efficient as it prepares the perfect number of eggs, toast, bacon, coffee and milk. Later we find out the house is also very clean and tidy as it washes away the uneaten food and totally scours the kitchen.

The house is also precise as it gives the exact date and location. It delivers a reminder about a friend's birthdate and the anniversary of either a friend or relative. Finally, the house is conscientious as it reminds the family about insurance and utility bills that are due and payable.

Of course, this persistence and efficiency are wasted as the reader soon learns the house is the only one left standing in a city destroyed by a nuclear blast and the family has been killed. Later in the story we also learn that the house is ironic when it recites the poem from which the story takes its name. The poem is about a world that goes on after a war and the annihilation of mankind.

In the end, the house could also be considered courageous as it does everything it can to fight the fire which breaks out when a tree limb crashes through a kitchen window. Unfortunately, all of the methods used by the house to save itself fail and it ultimately dies. 

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