Introduction to There Will Come Soft Rains

“There Will Come Soft Rains” was originally published in Ray Bradbury’s famous 1950 collection, The Martian Chronicles. This short story takes place in the year 2026 and follows a futuristic smart home in the wake of a nuclear incident that has killed its former human inhabitants. Indifferent to the obvious decay that surrounds it, the intelligent house moves cheerfully through its normal daily routines: announcing the date and time to empty rooms and cooking and cleaning for humans that are long since gone. Juxtaposing the innocuous domestic technology of the house against the deadly destruction of a nuclear blast, Bradbury reminds readers that while technology can be beneficial, it also has the capacity to be calamitous. Published only five years after the devastating atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Bradbury’s cautionary tale highlights the anxieties of the Cold War era and explores broader themes present in many of his other works, including the dangers of technology and the power of nature.

A Brief Biography of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury (1920–2012) was an American writer who is remembered primarily as a master of speculative fiction. Despite an incredibly prolific career that spans countless styles, formats, and genres, Bradbury is best known for his creepier tales. Whether chronicling the spooky carnival in Something Wicked This Way Comes or the nightmarish society of his famous Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury had a knack for tapping into very real human fears—paranoia, solitude, abandonment, and death. Surprisingly, Bradbury often shrugged off his science fiction reputation because he believed his tales, no matter how sinister, often had their basis in reality.

Frequently Asked Questions about There Will Come Soft Rains

There Will Come Soft Rains

The story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is set in the wake of a nuclear explosion, which has flattened the city of Allendale, California. Among the ruins of the city stands a solitary home, and the...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 1:05 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

There Will Come Soft Rains

In the short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," all of the human beings have been killed during an atomic blast, which is why the completely automated home is empty. All that remains of the family...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2020, 2:53 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

There Will Come Soft Rains

One prominent literary device that Bradbury uses in “There Will Come Soft Rains” is symbolism. For example, consider how the dog who dies from radiation poisoning was once “huge and fleshy” and is...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2021, 2:55 am (UTC)

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There Will Come Soft Rains

Even though the family that used to live in it have been wiped out by a nuclear holocaust, the automated house still lives on, going about its business with clockwork regularity each and every...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 11:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

As the personified and technologically sophisticated house detects it is on fire, it jumps into panic mode. This mood can be discerned from its frantic, high energy language and rapid actions:...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 11:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

At the end of the short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," the last remaining wall of the automated smart home is the only standing structure in the completely disseminated city and continues to...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 12:33 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

The automated house in “There Will Come Soft Rains” is thoroughly personified. Despite there being no actual human beings to guard, serve, and protect, the house still goes about its business with...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 1:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a god, when the word is not referring to the one supreme or ultimate reality, is a being or object that is worshipped as having more than natural...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2020, 8:34 pm (UTC)

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There Will Come Soft Rains

Ray Bradbury's anti-war science fiction short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" was first published in Collier's magazine in May 1950. The story was published later that year in a revised version...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020, 2:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

The automated house in "There Will Come Soft Rains" has a personality all of its own. This is completely intentional on Bradbury's part, as he wants to show us how technology, if left to its own...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2020, 11:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

The technologically sophisticated automated house is the central "character" in this story and has been designed to serve the family that owns it: a husband and wife and their two children, a girl...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2020, 11:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

Following the nuclear blast that destroyed the entire city of Allendale, California in the summer of 2026, a smart home continues to function automatically in its regular daily routine. The outside...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2020, 2:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

Ray Bradbury was often accused of being a Luddite, that is to say, someone with a knee-jerk hatred of new technology. Ample evidence in support of this argument would appear to be provided by his...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2020, 11:12 am (UTC)

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There Will Come Soft Rains

The title of Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is borrowed from Sara Teasdale's poem of the same name. In both the poem and the story, rain symbolizes the way nature goes about...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2020, 11:14 am (UTC)

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There Will Come Soft Rains

An important symbol in Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” is the dog that enters the house. The dog is described as once being “huge and fleshy,” but now after the nuclear...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 3:01 pm (UTC)

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There Will Come Soft Rains

The narrator describes the nursery as having glowing glass walls that show all sorts of animals, both real and fantastic. There are yellow giraffes as well as blue lions and lilac panthers...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 11:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

After spending a day attempting to serve humans who no longer exist in this house, the house begins "to die" at ten o'clock p.m. Outside, a storm increases in intensity, and a tree crashes through...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 11:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

In Ray Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," the entire city of Allendale, California has been completely flattened by a nuclear blast and every citizen has died in the explosion....

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 11:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

Imagery in "There Will Come Soft Rains" is often used to humanize the abandoned house. Though the humans who once lived there were killed in a nuclear explosion, the house continues to operate as...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 11:42 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

There Will Come Soft Rains

The dog in “There Will Come Soft Rains” is the only living creature in the story, and it's notable that the poor creature is in an utterly pitiful state. The dog is a shadow of its former self:...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2020, 1:25 pm (UTC)

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Summary