August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains.

Essay by ds103College, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains.

"In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk."(Bradbury, 906) Is this the house we have imagined? "There Will Come Soft Rains" says that, yes, we can build magnificent machines: beautiful houses to cater to our every need, a thousand servants at our beck and call, yet what benefit will they be at the end? When we fry ourselves into small radioactive fragments because we can sooner built houses fit for gods, then learn to live in peace with our fellow mortals, what good will our machines be to us then?

In this essay, the loyal family dog searched uselessly for his masters. The house tried in vain to save itself from the fires, but their efforts to save their masters were ludicrous, for the master race had exterminated itself and left the servants all alone, impotent.

Not one of man's creations could stand at the day of reckoning and save him from extinction- nor would many mourn his passage. This is a humbling thought that our planet would survive quite well without us. Were we to rid it of our presence, and that in just a short while, it would almost be as if we had never existed at all.

Times have changed since the writing of "There Will Come Soft Rains", when the threat of nuclear extermination seemed more real than it is now. But should we read it only as a chilling view of what the future might have been? One thing in man's favor: he is ingenious; and in inventing new ways of making his species extinct he...