The American Dream In Ray Bradbury's August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rain

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Joseph Rotblat, 1995 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, stated, “I have to bring to your notice a terrifying reality: with the development of nuclear weapons Man has acquired, for the first time in history, the technical means to destroy the whole of civilization in a single act” (“Joseph”). Nearly fifty years before Rotblat’s warning, the world witnessed devastation when the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan during World War II. Over 200,000 people perished. Just five years after these tragic days in history, Ray Bradbury, one of the most inspiring artists of the twentieth century, conveys a view similar to Rotblat in his short story, “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” (“Ray”).Throughout this story, Bradbury dramatizes the American Dream as an American Nightmare resulting from…show more content…
He depicts humanity as lacking decision-making abilities; for example, the technology within the house expects that Mrs. McClellan, likely the wife of the homeowner, cannot even select a poem to read. Because humankind is thoughtless, the home’s automation chooses to recite a piece by Sara Teasdale, “There Will Come Soft Rains.” Interestingly, this poem asserts that nature will outlive mankind, and it foreshadows the next events in Bradbury’s story. During the climax, a tree crashes through the house and causes a devastating inferno. Bradbury states that the fire which represents the natural world is “clever,” and it engulfs the abode (Bradbury 3). Here, he personifies nature as being smarter and more resilient than humanity. Meanwhile, Bradbury explains that “the house shuddered” which represents that mankind is afraid because man recognizes his ultimate defeat (Bradbury 4). In the denouement, Bradbury illustrates that the sun rises literally and figuratively over humanity, “the heaped rubble and steam,” revealing that the natural world outlasts man (Bradbury
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