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THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS Ray Bradbury

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on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS Ray Bradbury

THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS
Ray Bradbury

PLOT:
MAIN POINTS:
Conflict:
CHARACTERS:
In this story, the house is the main character. Because the house is not living, I wouldn't consider it to be static or dynamic.

However, if the house were alive, my answer would be static. Although the house went through physical changes, it still had the same goal: to keep its residents safe.
POINT OF VIEW:
The point of view is third-person.
The narrator is NOT part of the story.
THEME:
The basic message of "There will come Soft Rain" is hinted in a poem that the house reads to the dead mother.
"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire, Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And 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."
Setting
"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of
Allendale, California."
INTRODUCTION
There Will Come Soft Rains
"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And 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 five spots of paint- the man, the woman, the children, the ball- remained."
The house still remains..
Takes place in California, in the year
2026

As we learn later, California has been destroyed by a nuclear bomb, but one house still remains.
August 4, 2026
Allendale, California
At the beginning of the story, we're introduced to the house. The house tells us that the date is August 4, 2026, so we know it takes place in the future.

"'Today is August 4, 2026,' said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, 'in the city of Allendale, California.' It repeated the date three times for memory's sake. 'Today is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas, and light bills.'"

"In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast.."

We can infer that the house is intelligent, because it is capable of assisting its residents... who don't appear to be present.

We learn that all life whatsoever has been destroyed by a nuclear bomb. This includes the family that once lived in the still-standing house.

At twelve noon, a sick dog approaches the house, enters, and dies. The house recognizes the dog and sends the "small cleaning animals" to throw it into the incinerator and get rid of it.
At 10 pm, a violent wind causes a tree to fall through the house:
"A failing tree bough crashed through the kitchen window."
This sets the house on fire.
The fire causes the house to malfunction.
"In the last instant under the fire avalanche, other choruses, oblivious, could be heard announcing the time, playing music, cutting the lawn by remote-control mower, or setting an umbrella frantically out and in the slamming and opening front door, a thousand things happening.."
After malfunctioning and trying to save
its already deceased residents, it too finally
dies:
"But too late. Somewhere, sighing, a pump shrugged to a stop."
The conflict is EXTERNAL
In the story, the house has a PHYSICAL conflict; it is destroyed by a storm.

* However, an even bigger conflict in the story
that isn't addressed properly is the nuclear bomb that destroyed California (maybe more!)

* "Ten-fifteen. The garden sprinklers whirled up in golden founts, filling the soft morning air with scatterings of brightness. The water pelted windowpanes, running down the charred west side where the house had been burned evenly free of its white paint."
"The fire burned on the stone hearth and the cigar fell away into a mound of quiet ash on its tray. The empty chairs faced each other between the silent walls, and the music played."
*In the story there is no mention of "I" or "we". The reader doesn't know who the narrator is. (To the reader, the narrator is basically just a disembodied voice)
* The poem is basically
saying that if everyone were to die, nature would not care. In the story, mankind is destroyed by its own technology that was meant to help them. Even though mankind is gone, the circle of life must always continue.
Full transcript