There Will Come Soft Rains Essay
Each author works hard to create a strong atmosphere in order to support his specific message. By using foreshadowing and setting, Ray Bradbury is able to produce a mysterious and vacant atmosphere in his short story, “There Will Come Soft Rains”. Ray Bradbury further supports his theme of how technology can be beneficial to mankind, however, it can also pose as a potential detriment to the human race and has the ability to take over and destroy lives. Ray Bradbury’s message is a warning to all that, in the future, humans will become too reliant on technology, eventually leading to the end of all life on Earth.
Ray Bradbury skillfully uses foreshadowing in order to create a mysterious and vacant atmosphere supporting his theme of the convenience of our advanced technology, but cautioning us that the misuse of technology will lead to the demise of the human race. By using foreshadowing Ray Bradbury is able to create hints or clues as to what will occur, or what did occur. This use of foreshadowing creates a mysterious feeling the reader experiences throughout the book. The short story begins with a clock that announces the time to the house and family, and tells them that it is time to get up.
The voice clock sang in an almost worriedly tone, “[…]Tick-Tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would” (Bradbury 1). The clock foreshadows two different things, the unveiling of something wrong that has already happened, and something wrong that is still yet to happen. The clock, an inanimate object, is essentially afraid that no one would get up when it asks, and that no one will react to its call, which leads the reader to think something terrible has already happened. Every paragraph seems to bring us back to this clock by continuously stating the time of day. This in itself acts as a count down to a tragic event in the story that is yet to happen. The author used foreshadowing in many ways in order to create a mysterious and vacant atmosphere, which further helped him support his message of the dangers behind abusing technology.
Ray Bradbury does an impressive job using setting in order to create a vacant and mysterious atmosphere to support his message that the human race should be careful not to become too reliant on technology because its can become a potential danger to humans. To create this vacant atmosphere the author begins by describing the west side of the house, “The five spots of paint – the man, the women, the children[…] – remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer” (2).
These four silhouettes are the family members who used to live in the automated house. This description of their silhouettes tells us exactly what happened to the humans, and how they died. Those burned images on the wall refers a shadow left behind due to thermal radiation, in this case coming from an atomic bomb. this leaves no trace of the body behind, all that is left is the shadow, or “silhouette”. Meaning, the family along with anyone else in California died in an instant, death by atomic bomb, which explains why there is no human in sight. This shows that the shadows left behind are of the family that occupied the house, and also shows what happened to the rest of the general radius of the city, giving us that vacant mysterious feeling that supports his theme.
Ray Bradbury again expresses this feeling of a vacant and mysterious atmosphere by describing the surroundings of the house, “The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing” (2). With both the reference to rubble and ash, and the radioactive glow, what had happened to the humans became more clear. The author reveals that the city is completely uninhabited, and the house is left with no sign of life.
A house in which no one is going about their everyday routines, going to work or to school. As the book progresses from this point, signs of emptiness and vacancy increase. No car leaves the garage, the uneaten food is thrown away. All because of the technology which we abused to create devastating weapons of mass destruction, again, supporting his theme.
In conclusion, Ray Bradbury was able to effectively make a strong atmosphere by using a mysterious and vacant feeling to support his theme of how technology can be beneficial to mankind, however, it can also pose as a potential detriment to the human race and has the ability to take over and destroy lives. Therefore we should not become dependent on technology, nor should we abuse it.