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GENS1101 Fiction Analysis

1. Title of Selection: There will come soft rains 2. Author: Bradbury was born in Illinois, Bradbury was awarded the National Book Foundation's 2000 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, an the National Medal of Arts in 2004. He is best known for his novel, Fahrenheit 451 and most of his work has been adapted into films and television. 3. Theme/Irony: The central irony of the story is the fact that humans have been destroyed rather than saved by their own technology. The atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, were recent memories in 1951, and many readers and critics found Bradbury's images of a desolate planet haunting and cautionary. In a further moral lesson, Bradbury shows how human technology is able to withstand the demise of its maker, yet is ultimately destroyed by nature, a force that prevails over all others. The story, which happens in the future but takes its title from a poem by a nineteenth-century writer, is a prime example of how science fiction literature can encompass moral and philosophical concerns. 4. Summary of the Selection: The story begins by introducing the reader to a

robotically controlled house that cooks, cleans, and takes care of virtually every need that a family could have. The reader enters the text on the morning of August 4, 2026 and follows the house through some of the daily tasks that it performs as it prepares its inhabitants for a day of work and school. At first it is not apparent that anything is wrong, but eventually it becomes clear that the inhabitants of the house are not present and that the house is empty. The explanation for the whereabouts of the residents is explained in that there are silhouettes of a woman, a man, and two children along a burnt side of the house. It is also explained that the area surrounding the house is destroyed and that it gives off a "radioactive glow”. The only thing left standing is the house that continues to perform its duties to the family even though they are gone. At one point, further insight into the demise of the family is given when the house recites a poem by Sarah Teasdale called "There Will Come Soft Rains". The poem describes how nature is unaffected by the demise of humanity through war. At ten o'clock, the house is finally destroyed as well when the wind blows a tree onto the house, causing a fire to break out. The house warns the family to get out of the building and attempts to fight the fire, but is eventually overcome. The house burns to the ground except for one wall, which continues to give the time and date the following morning.