There Will Come Soft Rains


Ray Bradbury

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Themes and Colors
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Death, Control, and Time Theme Icon
Nature vs. Technology Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in There Will Come Soft Rains, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Life vs. Technology

“There Will Come Soft Rains” narrates a day in the life of a home whose automated artificially-intelligent functions, such as making meals and cleaning, continue to operate after its human residents (the McClellan family) have perished in a nuclear explosion. As such, the story centers lifelike technology—both anthropomorphized and animalistic—and relegates actual living beings to the fringes of the tale. In doing so, Bradbury creates an eerie confusion between life and technology, showing the…

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Death, Control, and Time

Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, this story presents death as pervasive. The reader encounters the death of the McClellan family, their dog, their city, and the house. Related to this relentless dying, Bradbury emphasizes the omnipresence of time, structuring the story around the house’s automated announcement of each hour of the day. The ever-ticking clock announcing every hour suggests the McClellan family’s tendency towards efficiency and control down to the minute. When…

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Nature vs. Technology

The automated house of Bradbury’s story presents itself as the perfect environment for human beings—a space that readily caters to nearly every imaginable need. To do so, however, it relies a great deal on the natural world, both for inspiration (many of its automated functions, such as the robot mice, are based on animals) and for the raw materials to keep running. By having the house ultimately succumb to a fire and be destroyed…

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