Summary: There Will Come Soft Rain

939 Words4 Pages
Jared Whittemore
Dr. Kevin Scott
English 1102
4 October 2015
Soft Rains and the American Dream
Written in 1950, Ray Bradbury’s “August 2026: There will Come Soft Rains” offers an unsettling look into the future of the planet, after the fall of mankind. A monument to man’s ever-growing laziness, an automated house continuous functioning without those who once lived within its walls. This house is the last remnant of the family who once occupied it, a testament to the downfall of the American dream. A dream that once stood for hard work and dedication, claiming that those two traits were the pillars of success and that by staying true to them anyone could succeed. This dream faded, however, as this concept changed into something far lazier. This
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Referred to in countless works and criticized in others, the American dream has long been a staple in American culture. This idea has been ingrained into the hearts and minds of the American people and for many it remains unchanged. However, there are those who see the American dream as something different. Something more corruptible and something far less dignified. The idea of working smarter is, in itself, harmless and even beneficial in some cases. However, when this idea is expanded to cover every aspect of life it may become an issue, as forgoing hard work leads to laziness later on. In Bradbury’s imagined future, the idea of working smarter and never harder has expanded to become something closer to play longer, never work at all. The house in this story is, at its core, a symbol for the laziness of mankind. The house wakes up the family, prepares the food, and even cleans itself with automated machines (Bradbury 1). Throughout the day, the house does everything todays parents and maids would be doing. The reliance on technology goes so far that in the nursery “yellow giraffes, blue lions, pink antelopes, [and] lilac panthers” frolic across a projected meadow (Bradbury 2). Rather…show more content…
Its constant personification is a clear flag to this point, and the way in which the house finally falls further shows this connection. While performing its daily duties, the home is personified in each action that it takes. The alarm clock does not merely go off, it “sings” in a human voice each hour that passes (Bradbury 1). In the process of cleaning the breakfast dishes, the house does not throw away the food it “digests” it (Bradbury 1). This trend of personification continuous as the house “inquired “Who goes there?”” and “quivered at each sound” (Bradbury 2). However, the symbolic connection to the people who once lived inside the home does not end there. Also connecting the home to its occupants is the method in which they met their end. The people, now no more than “five spots of paint,” plastered against “a thin charcoaled layer,” clearly met their end in some nuclear incident, called here a “titanic instant” (Bradbury 1). The home, in keeping with its symbolic connection, falls in a similarly instantaneous way. As the bough of a tree crashes into the kitchen, cleaning solvent is dumped over the stove top, putting the room “ablaze in an instant” (Bradbury 3). Despite all the work the home has done to preserve itself for no one, it falls to the power of nature in much the same way that humans fall,
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