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There Will Come Soft Rains

by Ray Bradbury

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What were the last words spoken in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

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In Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains," the house is the last voice to speak as it continuously says, "Today is August 5, 2057, today is August 5, 2057, today is ...," as it burns down. This voice at the end is extremely haunting to the story as it demonstrates the absolute absence of humanity after a nuclear holocaust destroyed much of life in 2057.

Throughout the story, Bradbury creates images that demonstrate this absence of humanity while the robotic "life" continues to operate. The story's first paragraph demonstrates this: "The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked on, repeating and repeaing its sounds into the emptiness."

Perhaps the most haunting image in the story comes when Bradbury captures the moment a nuclear bomb detonated, killing each member in the household (except for the dog):

"The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down."

The purpose of this image is to show that the only life that's left is the artificial computerized house life. However, the house, without humans, is unable to solve problems. So when a tree crashes into the kitchen and starts a fire, the house is unable to save itself.

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What was the last thing that the house said in "There Will Come Soft Rains"?

The last thing the house says in Ray Bradbury's short story is the following line:

Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is. . . 

The line wraps up the entire story in a nice way because it reminds readers of how the story began. By the third paragraph of the story, the house is already talking. It is announcing to the inhabitants of the house what day it is.

"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of Allendale, California."

The house must start every day like this. My guess is that announcement functions like the alarm clock for the family who lives there. From the date announcement, the house continues to update inhabitants about important things that need to happen that day. It's basically a step up from somebody's Google calendar sending reminders via email.

The story ends with the house making the same announcement with which it started. It's just the next day. While the house seems intelligent and emotional at times, the final lines of the story strongly remind readers that the house is still a machine. Despite the horrific deaths of the family and the consuming fire, the house is still trying to act like everything is normal. It's a sad and lonely way to end this story.

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