Themes and message

Destruction  

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury explores the theme of destruction through its setting and plot. The story is set in a future in which a nuclear blast has killed all the people in “Allendale, California” and has turned the city into “rubble and ashes”, causing it to give off “a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles”.

The only surviving construction, an automated house, is not aware of the total destruction that has taken place and continues to perform daily tasks as if its owners were still around. However, the narrator shows readers the traces of the owners on one of the wall of the house on which they left a radioactive print: “The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man…”. The images refer to the “Hiroshima Shadow”, a silhouette caused by an object interrupting the flash of radiation from an atomic bomb. The description of their traces suggests they have been taken by surprise, having a regular day in their garden, which makes the nuclear blast even more tragic for the unknowing victims. The consequences are also noticeable in the surviving family dog, which is severely injure and dies.

However, the story does not offer too many details about this event. Instead, the absent event is mirrored by the subsequent destruction of the house. Initially, the house seems to have triumphed over the nuclear blast and continues its mindless routine. However, it ends by being destroyed, not by an act of humans, but by an act of nature.

In the story, nature is also partially destroyed by the blast, as suggested by the few remaining animals. However, unlike humans, nature survives, and ...

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