6. The story says a great deal about our society’s obsession with technology in order to have an ‘easier’ life. There is, however, an underlying warning in this story that concerns our materialistic attitude and the environmental repercussions. Explain in detail the main idea by referring to quotes.
As technology advanced at a rapid pace in the early 20th century, specifically following the development of the atomic bomb in the 1940s, a fear of robots taking the place of humans developed. These concerns about technology naturally made their way into the literary works of the time, and science fiction writers in particular focused on issues like these.
Bradbury focuses on several themes related to these issues in ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’. The reader is left to wonder what has become of the human residents, and there are few specific clues pointing as to why. It seems likely that some technological development, invented by humans, ended destroyed all the humans on Earth. The dangers of reckless, thoughtless development and the danger of not having boundaries are some of Bradbury’s themes. “The dog ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, that only silence was here.”
After the bombing of Hiroshima silhouettes of Japanese citizens going about their daily lives were found burned into walls that faced the blast. The Hiroshima Shadow was born, and became instantly notorious for capturing a subject’s final moments of life before being cruelly burned alive in a nuclear fire. Hiroshima Shadows were well known as a sign of the destructive power of nuclear weapons when Bradbury wrote Soft Rains in 1950. ” Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn, Would scarcely know that we were gone.”
The short story was written to warn readers of this by illustrating scenes of a post-apocalyptic American suburbia. Overall, Soft Rains in itself is an example of the extreme possibile ending caused by technology outpacing humanity.