There Will Come Soft Rains
EQ: What are the conventions of
Describe your perfect place.
Who would be there?
What is the climate like? Is it busy? What do you
do each day? What do you eat? How is it
organised? What systems are in place? What
kind of rules are there?
What do these films/shows and books
have in common? What do you think a
‘dystopia’ might be?
What is this
genre and where do you
Watch this trailer from
the film ‘I am Legend’ to
help you create a
definition of the genre
and a list of conventions.
What is a ‘Post-apocalyptic’ era?
Add ‘post-apocalyptic’ and ‘dystopia’ to your vocabulary lists
• The story was written in 1950.
• 5 years earlier, Hiroshima and
Nagasaki had been bombed. (Hiroshima was almost
• Tens of thousands of people died as a direct result of
the bombings, a quarter of a million more perished
of radiation poisoning within 30 days.
• This was a time of uncertainty, and the possibility of
nuclear war was a daily fear.
Read and research Sara Teasdale’s poem ‘There Will
Come Soft Rains’.
On the poem, answer the questions
• 1. Write a summary of what the poem is about.
• 2. What does Teasdale mean through the idea of ‘soft
• 3. How does nature feel about the loss of humanity in
this poem? How do you know this? Refer to techniques
used as well as quotations in your response.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Understanding the story
Taking into account what we
already know about the
genre, what can you say
about the story?
After reading, consider the following
“The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its
bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire,
its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the
skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver
in the scalded air.”
“The house was an altar with ten thousand
attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in
choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the
ritual of the religion continued senselessly,
“The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked
on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the
emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-
‘And the rain tapped on the empty house,
Outside, the garage chimed and lifted its door to
reveal the waiting car. After a long wait the door
swung down again.’
They thudded against chairs, whirling their
moustached runners, kneading the rug nap,
sucking gently at hidden dust. Then, like
mysterious invaders, they popped into their
burrows. Their pink electric eyes faded.
It quivered at each sound, the house did. If a
sparrow brushed a window, the shade snapped
up. The bird, startled, flew off! No, not even a
bird must touch the house!
There, down tubes which fed into the cellar, it
was dropped into the sighing vent of an
incinerator which sat like evil Baal in a dark
Two o'clock, sang a voice.
Delicately sensing decay at last, the regiments of
mice hummed out as softly as blown grey leaves
in an electrical wind.
The dog was gone.
In the cellar, the incinerator glowed suddenly
and a whirl of sparks leaped up the chimney.
From attic trapdoors, blind robot faces peered
down with faucet mouths gushing green
chemical. The fire backed off, as even an
elephant must at the sight of a dead snake. Now
there were twenty snakes whipping over the
floor, killing the fire with a clear cold venom of
Answer the following questions by referring to the text:
• What might be the connotation of Soft Rains in the title? You should include reference
to the poem by Sara Teasdale in your answer.
• How would you explain the structure of the story? How has Bradbury punctuated his
• What does Bradbury infer through all the automatic and mechanical elements in the
• Where and how do we find out that there are no longer inhabitants in the house?
• Bradbury informs us that this has been the case for quite a time; how does he do this?
• What do you think was the attitude of humans towards nature? How is this exemplified
on page 152 ( before the poem )
• How does Teasdale’s poem support and reinforce the message of Bradbury’s story?
• The house is clearly a character in the story; find sentences and phrases from the text
which show this.
• What might the fight between the fire and the house symbolize?
• Find sentences or phrases on pages 153 and 154 which personify the fire.
• What effect is created by the shorter sentences used in this ending of the story?
Essay Question#1 (individual)
How does the author create a sense of unease,
isolation and foreboding in the story?
a feeling that something bad will happen; fearful apprehension.
"with a sense of foreboding she read the note“
Plan: mind-map or bullet-point
By including numerous
contrasts that feel
Add three or four further ideas to your own map with short pieces of
Bradbury creates a sense of unease throughout the story with the
use of contrasting images and ideas. The original description of the
family is idyllic as the mother is ‘bent to pick flowers’ and the
children play in the garden but this is starkly juxtaposed with the
image of the ‘thin charcoaled layer’ on the side of the house that
has been left by the possible nuclear blast that killed them all. The
author contrasts this peaceful scene with the aggressive and
‘titanic instant’ that killed them all: their lives were wiped out
instantly. This contrasting image disturbs the reader as it shows
how quickly the ideal can be obliterated. Another contrasting
image is in the final scene as chaos fights with order: the house is
burning down and yet the clock continues to say ‘Today is August 5,
2026…’ as if nothing was happening. This creates a sense of unease
There Will Come Soft Rains
Man vs Nature
EQ: How is this theme
demonstrated throughout this
Essay Question#2 (individual)
How is the theme of man vs. nature
‘There Will Come Soft Rains’?
You should refer to various techniques and literary elements within your answer.
Mind-map as many different answers that you may have to this question.
Man vs. nature
in the story
Man is displayed as
temporary through the
use of the poem.
Step 1: Getting your ideas clear
Step 2: Sorting your ideas into a logical order
Number 3-4 of your ideas in a way that makes sense. Ie, some may automatically link together
Step 3: Write these 3 ideas as complete Points, that link using discourse markers
For example: Throughout the whole story, man’s efforts are depicted as futile which is
demonstrated in the quotation…
Step 4: Choose 2-3 appropriate, small quotations for the each Point that clearly supports the
point that you’re making
Ensure that you punctuate them correctly…
Step 5: Annotate these quotations in detail
Comment on specific words, techniques and the quotation in general in order to show how it
absolutely demonstrates the futility of man or whatever point you’re trying to make.
Step 6: Transfer all of this into the grid
Use all of the notes that you have made to complete the grid in detail. This will help you have a
clear structure for your paragraphs.
Step 7: Transfer all of this into a paragraph
You now have your Point, Evidence and the notes for an Explanation section.
• Mind map any ideas you have
• Choose which ideas you will write about. (1 is
too few, 4 is too much)
• Find evidence (quotes and paraphrase)
• Organize ideas into a logical structure
• Write essay: April 7