Characters

General aspects

Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” does not include any living human characters, but only an automated house, an injured dog which eventually dies, and some wild animals such as “lonely foxes and whining cats”. Based on the description of the image left on the wall of the house, the place belonged to a family with two children, a boy and a girl. Based on the tasks performed by the house, we can also assume that the inhabitants of the house smoked and enjoyed listening to poems. As they lived in the suburbs in California and owned an automatic house, they were probably middle-class Americans in the future. Given the post-apocalyptic setting of the story and the absence of humans, the house becomes the main character in the plot.

The house

The house is the main focus element in the story, which follows its programmed actions and often makes associations between what the house does and human-like behaviour.

Outer characterisation

Following a nuclear blast in the area, the house is the only one “left standing”. As the house is a lifeless object and the main setting of the story, there are extensive descriptions of the building. Among others, the house comprises a living room, a kitchen, a “garage”, “an incinerator which sat like evil Baal in a dark corner”, and a nursery. Also, its left wall has been affected by the nuclear blast: “The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places.”

The house is automated, not unlike today’s smart homes. Its...

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