There Will Come Soft Rains

by

Ray Bradbury

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The Voice Reading Poetry Character Analysis

This character is part of the house’s machinery. At 9:05 p.m., the voice addresses Mrs. McClellan (the mother in the McClellan family), projecting from the ceiling in the study. It offers to read a poem of her choosing, implying that this has long been part of the house’s nightly routine. When she makes no reply, it selects a poem at random that, the voice recalls, happens to be her favorite: There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale. Though the voice seems very serious as it reads this poem about the demise of mankind, for the reader it is odd to hear emotional poetry read by a machine. Of course, this odd situation pales in comparison to what happens after the house catches on fire. When it becomes clear that the house is going to burn, the voice randomly begins to read poetry again, apparently oblivious to both the content it is reading and the circumstances surrounding it. This character represents the limits of technology, as well as the idea that the need to always do things in a certain way can blind one to reality.

The Voice Reading Poetry Quotes in There Will Come Soft Rains

The There Will Come Soft Rains quotes below are all either spoken by The Voice Reading Poetry or refer to The Voice Reading Poetry. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of There Will Come Soft Rains published in 1977.
There Will Come Soft Rains Quotes

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.

Related Characters: The Voice Reading Poetry (speaker), The McClellan Family
Related Symbols: The Natural World
Page Number: 225-226
Explanation and Analysis:

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, like a clock shop when each clock strikes the hour insanely before or after the other, a scene of maniac confusion, yet unity; singing, screaming, a few last cleaning mice darting bravely out to carry the horrid ashes away! And one voice, with sublime disregard for the situation, read poetry aloud in the fiery study, until all the film spools burned, until all the wires withered and the circuits cracked.

Related Symbols: The Natural World
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:
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There Will Come Soft Rains PDF

The Voice Reading Poetry Character Timeline in There Will Come Soft Rains

The timeline below shows where the character The Voice Reading Poetry appears in There Will Come Soft Rains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Death, Control, and Time Theme Icon
Nature vs. Technology Theme Icon
At 9:15, a voice from the study ceiling asks Mrs. McClellan which poem she would like to hear. When... (full context)
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Death, Control, and Time Theme Icon
Nature vs. Technology Theme Icon
The many voices of the house continue to cry out until the fire consumes them one by one.... (full context)