In Soft Rains, Ray Bradbury creates a story about life after people. Times in 2026 are described as a time where technology continues to operate after humanity has passed away. The author uses imagery and personification to develop his idea that technology had become excessive to the point it no longer requires human presence to operate. “In the living room the voice clock sang, tick-tock, seven o’ clock” (284). Ray Bradbury uses personification in this quote to suggest that clocks of 2026 have a voice.
This is ironic because clocks lack a voice and therefore the capability to rhyme. “”Today is August 4, 2026″ said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling ” (285). This example of personification describes a voice from the ceiling belonging to a clock. Bradbury uses condescending literary elements by giving an inanimate object an identity through voice. “It quivered at each sound, the house did. ” (287) Bradbury suggests here that technology has become so excessive (in 2026) that the house in the story Soft Rains has continued to react after humanity’s control.
This example is extreme because the house is described to have a sort of “feeling” and ability to “react” which are human qualities. “Sara Teasdale. As I recall, your favorite… ” (289) Ray goes so far as to express how the house has begun to collect information about the family members that once inhabited the house. This example of excessive technology suggest that Bradbury’s house might have the beginnings of a “memory. ” “For not a leaf fragment blew under the door but that the wall panels flipped open and the copper scrap rats flashed swiftly out. ” (287) Bradbury, in this quote, uses amazing imagery.
Walls and mechanical mice are explained in detail by color and actions, creating a very vivid picture while reading and reinforcing the theme of technology operating without people. “It sniffed the air and scratched at the kitchen door. Behind the door, the stove was making pancakes which filled the house with a rick baked odor and the scent of maple syrup. ” (287) In this quote, Ray paints such a vivid image of breakfast in his futuristic house that you can almost taste the maple baked pancakes. His use of detail and description support the theme of imagery. Animals took shape: yellow giraffes, blue lions, pink antelopes, lilac panthers. Cavorting in crystal substance. The walls were glass. ” (288) The literal element of imagery was taken literally in this quote by Bradbury. The extreme use of descriptive words are used to express the colors of a type of mural in a child’s room. “The dinner dishes manipulated like magic tricks and in the study, click. In the hearth, a fire blazed up warmly. ” (288) In this quote the image of a mechanical dishwasher that requires no human to perform loading or unloading of dishes is described to the reader.
Imagery of heat off a fire and noise from a machine are expressed by Bradbury to form a vivid image of the house in action. Soft rains by Ray Bradbury creates an image of a world in the futuristic times of 2026 where human operation of machinery is no longer required for day to day function. Imagery and personification are used to express the realness and possibility of this scenario. The author continues a theme of exploring a world where technology has become so excessive that it no longer requires human presence, throughout the story.