What is the universal theme of "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury? 

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There is one major theme of "There Will Come Soft Rains" which is not only universal but becomes more relevant with every passing year. The theme might be expressed as "the fragility of human life" or to use the title of Alan Weisman's 2007 nonfiction bestseller: The World Without Us.

This theme is evident from the very first sentence:

In the living room the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o'clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o 'clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would.

If the clock really were afraid that nobody would get up, the clock would be right, since there is nobody in the house to get up. The clock is not afraid because it is a clock, but we immediately understand what the author means because anthropomorphism comes naturally to us. We are constantly attributing human emotions to inanimate objects and animals because we believe, with Protagoras, that "man is the measure of all things."

The effectiveness of Bradbury's story lies in its acknowledgement of and rebuke to...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1044 words.)

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