What is the symbolic setting of There Will Come Soft Rains (not California 2026, but what it means)? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The symbolic setting is any city that you would like it to be in.   The only other key piece of the setting is that it is after a nuclear bomb has been detonated.  I generally assume that the story is after a nuclear war.  That would make the neighborhood and home being described as one of many across the country or world.  

When the story was written, Bradbury's descriptions had to have seemed far into the future.  Nuclear war was a threat yes, but homes with robot vacuums and a voice that talks to you were definitely the things of science fiction.  Today though, Bradbury's story is eerily familiar.  In my own home, I have two robot vacuums.  An I-robot Roomba for carpets and a different one designed to mop hard floors.  My home doesn't talk to me, but Google will respond to my voice commands.  Siri and Cortana both can give auditory responses to commands.  Amazon has the Echo speaker.  It (she) has a voice, and her name is Alexa.  It's possible to tell her to pick a song based on your mood.  There's all kind of things in Bradbury's story that have come true, and that's scary to me.  It's scary because it seems like the only thing that hasn't come true yet is the nuclear war.  Let's hope that stays that way. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Illustration of a paper plane soaring out of a book

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial