Technology Takes Over in There Will Come Soft Rains


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Technology is beneficial but does not replace things such as nature because nature is a vital part of life. Two stories written by Ray Bradbury are “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Pedestrian,” they both discuss the fight between technology and nature. In Ray Bradbury’s short story, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” there is a single house left after a nuclear bomb destroys the entire neighborhood. Then, nature and other natural forces attack the house until it dies along with the technology around it. In his other short story “The Pedestrian,” Leanord Mead goes for a walk every night around his neighborhood. No other people walk at night because technology fixes them in front of the television and traps them in their homes. Then, Leanord Mead is taken by the police to an asylum because of his “strange” habits. In reality, he is normal and other people are addicts to technology, so they don’t go outside. Bradbury tells his audience, with irony, diction, and similes, technology takes over and ruins lives.

First, Bradbury uses irony, the opposite of what one expects, in “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Pedestrian.” By using irony, Bradbury emphasizes a point or hint to the audiences’ reading, therefore enhancing his writing. In “There Will Come to Soft Rains,” the starving and sore family dog who the family abandons after a nuclear bomb annihilates the town, gallops into his empty house. The dog, who hasn’t eaten in a long time smells the kitchen while it makes pancakes. He starts to get excited, and “frothing at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly in circles, biting its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died” (Bradbury 2). Bradbury portrays situational irony when the dog dies because humans aren’t alive. The houses’ people are supposed to walk and feed the dog, but when the people are no longer there, the dog has inadequate care. Instead of the theme of nature is left to thrive while humans are gone, the theme is, nature perishes and suffers along with the humans. Additionally, in “The Pedestrian,” while Mr. Mead goes for a walk as he has done for years, he sees a police car drive up. The police car begins to interrogate the man and asks, “‘Walking where? For what?’” Leonard Mead responds “‘Walking for air. . . ‘Wait a minute, I haven’t done anything!’… ‘Where are you taking me?’’’ While the police car arrests the man, the car responds, “‘to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies’” (Bradbury 2). The car proceeds to tell him to get in, as it brings him to an asylum because he goes for walks, while other people are inside their houses. There is situational irony because it is normal to take a walk down the street, and not normal for people to not exit the house, yet society believes the opposite. Bradbury indirectly characterizes Mr. Mead as stubborn and unique because he won’t conform to the other’s ways of life and continues to do whatever he pleases until the police arrest him. Bradbury uses irony to add depth to “The Pedestrian” and “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

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Secondly, Bradbury uses diction, the author’s word choice, in “The Pedestrian” and “There Will Come to Soft Rains,” to create a vivid writing piece. In “There Will Come to Soft Rains,” after the bomb hits the area all of the houses are destroys except one house, one side of the house is black and burnt from the nuclear bomb that wipes out the city. On the house, there is a “silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn… a woman bent to pick flowers… a small boy” throwing a ball to “a girl…hands raised to catch” it, but it “never came down” (Bradbury 2). The words Bradbury chose help support the town is lonely within an instant after the attack took many lives and nature survives. Through Bradbury’s diction, he reveals, the theme of nature withstands more than technology will ever be able to. In another one of Bradbury’s short stories, “The Pedestrian,” he uses diction to uncover hidden themes within the writing. Mr. Mead goes for his routine nighttime walk. Mr. Mead loves “To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o’clock of a misty evening in November” and he put his “feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences” (Bradbury 1). Diction portrays the writing segment while Bradbury explains Mr. Mead’s feelings about his nightly walk. He says, “to enter out into that silence…of a misty evening…feet upon that buckling concrete…to step over grassy seams…hands in pockets, through the silences” (Bradbury 1). Bradbury may have just said the town is silent, he walks with hands in pockets on a November evening. But instead, keywords such as “misty…buckling…grassy…hands in pockets” and “silences” (Bradbury 1) make the scene more vivid. Bradbury adds depth to the explanation by describing Leanord Mead’s walk as serene. Bradbury uses diction to add vividness in “There Come Soft Rains,” and “The Pedestrian.”

Lastly, Bradbury uses similes, a comparison of two unlike things with like or as, in “There Will Come to Soft Rains” and “The Pedestrian” to add details to his short stories. In “There Will Come Soft Rains,” the house catches on fire from a tree and the fire eats up the stairs and the house. As all the technology dies in the flames, the voices of the house slowly die as well. All of a sudden, many voices began to die at once, “like children dying in a forest, alone, alone” (Bradbury 5). The simile about “children dying in a forest” refers to the sounds of all of the house’s technology as it burns up. Since there are so many technological advancements in the house, all of them have voices programs and when the fire burns them up they shout for help, like children who die in a forest. When the houses’ voices die out Bradbury releases the theme of technology will overpower nature and humans when given the chance. This is the theme because technology completely runs the last house and even has voices, it is almost like the technology are the people living there. In “The Pedestrian” while Leanord Mead is on his nightly walk, he sees a single police car in the town drive up to him. The police car begins to interrogate Mr. Mead, and the car’s “light held him fixed, like a museum specimen” (Bradbury 2). Mr. Mead is nervous when the bright beams of light from the police car are on him, so he freezes. Bradbury indirectly characterizes Mr. Mead as afraid because Bradbury describes him as a “museum specimen” (Bradbury 2). Overall, Bradbury uses similes to elevate his writing pieces.

In a final analysis, Bradbury uses irony, diction, and similes to enhance his writing in “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Pedestrian.” The use of irony and similes in both of Bradbury’s stories reveal the theme and his use of diction add imagery to the stories along with revealing the theme. Bradbury purposefully leaves audiences of all ages to think about how humans use technology to overpower and destroy nature. 

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