In the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains”, author Ray Bradbury puts forth the idea that the advancement of technology can lead to man’s extinction. The story focuses on the setting of a mechanical house winding down its days. The house is a representation of humanity and technology. While technology seems to have replaced humans in the beginning of the story, by the end, Bradbury shows that without humans, technology is doomed.
The house, which is the main character, as well as, the setting for this story, is given many apparent human-like characteristics. The house is given the job of doing tasks like cooking, and cleaning. Bradbury writes, “In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk” (Bradbury ). This quote describes one of the everyday tasks that a human would normally complete without help from technology. This can be related to the idea that humans have become reliant on technology and are taking advantage of it. Therefore, it is unlikely that humans will worry about technology being a threat to them in any way. Ultimately, the human-like actions that this house preforms show that advances in technology have made this house capable of taking the place of people altogether.We are never directly told what happened to the family that resided within the house, but the inference is very easy to make. Bradbury offers the information that the city “gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles,” (Bradbury) and it can be assumed that the city was destroyed by a nuclear explosion. The McClellan family is captured in a happy moment against the side of the house, the children playing ball and the husband and wife caring for the lawn. Because of the happy stance they are caught in, we know that they had no idea of the disaster that was to strike and it must have happened in no more than a second. The thought that disaster could strike so suddenly and destroy life in a flash.
Later in the story, the house attempts to read the owner a poem. The story goes on to say, “A voice spoke from the study ceiling: ‘Mrs. McClellan, which poem would you like this evening?’ The house was silent” (441). The house goes on to pick a poem for her, recalling that it was one of her favorites a poem by Sara T says, “not one will know of the war, not one will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly; and Spring herself when she woke at dawn would scarcely know that we were gone”. The words of this poem symbolizes the power of nature and its lack of dependency on humans whereas it is us that depend on it. Ray Bradbury is suggesting that . Basically, the poem claims that nature doesn’t take notice of our problems or hardships and in the end when it’s all over and done, when our problems are gone, nature still wouldn’t care but will go on. if we let techonalgy take over and loss tuch with nature and go against it that we will lose and nature will ultimaily prevail. Robert Peltier an English instructor at Trinity College and has published works of both fiction and nonfiction discusses the subversion of nature in Bradbury’s story saying, mankinds extinction is both enevtable and part of natures overall plan and man is “not it’s master” nature should not be changed. Bradbury might also be using more scare tactics by using the poem to paint the idea that man’s existence is small and unimportant, a thought that renders many people terrified.
The house continues on with its daily tasks even though all human life is gone. Despite being such a fantastical situation, the house is doing very mundane, ordinary jobs—making eggs