What does Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" reveal about why humans develop new kinds of technology?

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Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains ” was first published in 1950, a time when a technological utopia seemed right around the corner. Many people believed that the ‘house of the future’ Bradbury describes in his story would be available within just a few years....

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Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” was first published in 1950, a time when a technological utopia seemed right around the corner. Many people believed that the ‘house of the future’ Bradbury describes in his story would be available within just a few years. Bradbury makes his future even more realistic by having the house use technologies, such as computers running on magnetic tape, that were under development in the early 1950s.

The point of this technology, along with most technology invented by humans, is to make work and life easier. Bradbury’s house is the pinnacle of this dream, with automated services taking care of everything from preparing meals to cleaning house. The family who once lived within its walls had little to do but relax when they were at home.

Yet the story, as a whole, is a stark warning about technology's dual nature. Just five years before Bradbury wrote the story, the United States invented the atomic bomb and dropped it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As America was rushing to embrace the future, the future came at the price of living in a world with atomic weapons, and perhaps atomic warfare that would undo the technological progress that Bradbury's house represents.

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