VerdeJorge B. VerdeSusan ToppingShort Story – ENG* K211May 01, 2015The Purpose of Science Fiction Narratives Exemplified ThroughRay Bradbury’s “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains”Genre is a category of artistic composition in literature, characterized by similarities inform, style, or subject matter. Genres facilitate the classification of analogous works. Althoughcertain core features typify any given genre, the boundaries of each one are fluid and are oftenbreached for literary effect. A genre comes with specific codes, values, and expectations. Theyappeal to writers because they give structure, whilst offering audiences the pleasure offamiliarity. Additionally, working with a particular genre allows a narrative to accomplish whatanother genre is likely to be incapable of. Science fiction is a genre based on fictional futurescientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequentlyportraying space or time travel and life on other planets. This genre is inundated withcautionary tales that raise questions about the future. Science fiction is the branch of literaturethat deals with the responses of human beings to changes in science, technology, and society.Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World functioned as a warning; science and technology should bethe servants of man – man should not be enslaved to them. George Orwell’s 1984 successfullycautioned humanity about the perils of a totalitarian state. Much like these two timeless novels,Ray Bradbury’s “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” serves as an authentic alarm. This isdue to the fact that at the crux of science fiction is the impulse of extrapolation, of asking, “If1
Verdethis goes on, where will it lead?” Thus, the purpose of science fiction is to suggest all possibleprospects so that the people can make informed decisions about the future.Only two nuclear weapons have ever been used in the course of warfare, both by theUnited States near the end of World War II. The overwhelming annihilation caused by suchweaponry is often viewed as being too powerful for actual practice, since its use is capable ofleading to absolute human extermination. Bradbury was well aware of this reality, given that hisstory was first published in 1950 — five years after the original atomic bombs dropped onHiroshima and Nagasaki. This was a time of uncertainty, where the possibility of retaliation fromall military regimes produced fear in the minds of civilians. Ray Bradbury’s short story “August2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” describes the extinction of mankind after a nuclearcataclysm. The fable follows the actions of an artificially intelligent house that continues alongits daily duties despite the death of its inhabitants. The setting is Allendale, California, in theyear 2026. Technology is highly specialized in Bradbury’s twenty-first century world, concurrentwith America’s longing for a simpler life. Nevertheless, the undesirable side effects that comewith cutting-edge machinery are exposed. Through descriptive literary techniques, Bradbury
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 10 pages?