Literature Study GuidesThe Martian ChroniclesAugust 2026 There Will Come Soft Rains Summary

The Martian Chronicles | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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The Martian Chronicles | August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains | Summary

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Summary

An automated house in Allendale, California, continues its daily routine despite its lack of human occupants. It protects itself from animal intruders like foxes and birds with "mechanical paranoia" but allows a former pet dog to enter.

After 9 p.m., the house reads a Sara Teasdale poem: "There Will Come Soft Rains," and at 10 p.m., a tree branch crashes through the roof and the house is set ablaze, finally dying like the rest of Earth.

Analysis

Coming on the heels of "April 2026: The Long Years" where Hathaway's robots are given the chance to live on even in humanity's absence, it is dispiriting to see the automated house fall into destruction, trying in vain to save itself. But as the reciting of the Sara Teasdale poem implies, Earth will return to nature, and the creations of man both good (automated houses) and bad (war) will be forgotten. Bradbury seems to accept this as a natural process of cleansing, even though one wall of the house remains and within it a voice that is a continual reminder of humanity's achievements.

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