Destruction, Co-Existing, Pretending: The Human Behavior
The short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, is about a dystopian society that consists of many elements: the illusion of perfection, war, and technological control. In the story, man has destroyed nature and man itself, through war, pollution and technology. One theme that stood out to me most was man will always destroy man. I believe the story built itself around this idea.
The house in the story completed average human tasks itself; in one part of the story, choosing to read the poem “There will come soft rains”, which was ironic, since the author of the poem wanted to convey the idea that nature would thrive without the presence of man, while in this story, man had destroyed nature, so even without the presence of man, nature could no longer thrive. This idea is showing how humans have trouble co-existing with each other, let alone what surrounds us, much like the theme.
Another idea that I found in the story, is that humans like to pretend: “The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.” Bradbury showed that the family was trying to create the image of a stereotypical “perfect” family, ignoring that there was a war and pollution ruining their town – pretending that nothing wrong was going on. It was domestic bliss because of the technology.
I believe that this story shows important insight about humans, how we think and act, and how we need to be careful to not let this become our world. Our world already is much like the story in some parts of the world, and this shows the extreme humans can go to with technology, war, and pollution. The story is a warning based on our current and past societal trends of what our world can become.