3B1 ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ By Ray Bradbury



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3B1 ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ By Ray Bradbury

  • Miss Hetman

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Published in 1932.
  • Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), Brave New World is set in a dystopian world in which a totalitarian government controls society through the use of science and technology – all humans are produced artificially and are conditioned from birth to fill set roles in society. Freewill and individuality do not exist as they make people unhappy. Orwell suggests that the linking of science, technology, and politics will likely reduce human individuality. The novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society.
  • In Brave New World , Huxley anticipated the dangers of totalitarian governments which would later be played out to tragic effect in World War II, the great struggle of the Cold War and the arms race which so powerfully underlined the role of technology in the modern world.

1984 by George Orwell

  • First published in 1949.
  • A dystopian novel set after a global atomic war in a society ruled by an oligarchic dictatorship that controls the population with pervasive government surveillance and public mind control. Big Brother, the deified Party leader rules with a philosophy that views individuality and reason as crimes. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record is congruent with the current party ideology. Because of the childhood trauma of the destruction of his family — the disappearances of his parents and sister — Winston Smith secretly hates the Party, and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

  • Published in 1968.
  • The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-normal intelligence who aids some fugitive androids.
  • The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic near future, where Earth and its populations have been damaged greatly by Nuclear War during World War Terminus. Most types of animals are endangered or extinct due to extreme radiation poisoning from the war. To own an animal is a sign of status, but what is emphasized more is the empathic emotions humans experience towards an animal.
  • Deckard is faced with "retiring" six escaped Nexus-6 brain model androids, the latest and most advanced model. Because of this task, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids possess no empathic sense. In essence, Deckard probes the existence of defining qualities that separate humans from androids.
  • The book's plot served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

  • Published in 2006.
  • It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified catastrophe that has destroyed much of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth.
  • The novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006

Ray Bradbury

  • Born August 22, 1920, is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer.
  • Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951).
  • Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century writers of science fiction.

‘There Will Come Soft Rains’

  • Was published in in 1950 in The Martian Chronicles a collection of science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury.
  • The theme of the devastating effects of nuclear force was very applicable to the time period of the 1950s. The world was still recovering from the effects of World War II and events, such as the dropping of atomic bombs in Japan was still recent.

In 1945, the United States released a nuclear bomb over the city of Hiroshima that destroyed nearly everything in the city. Three days later, Nagasaki was also bombed. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in these bombings, either from direct impact or the deadly effects of radiation that killed them within a few years of the incident.

  • In 1945, the United States released a nuclear bomb over the city of Hiroshima that destroyed nearly everything in the city. Three days later, Nagasaki was also bombed. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in these bombings, either from direct impact or the deadly effects of radiation that killed them within a few years of the incident.
  • Even though the war ended shortly after these events, the fear of retaliation and the increasing focus on the development of nuclear weapons by many military powers worldwide, produced fear in the minds of people. After the war, tension increased between the two major military powers of the time, the U.S.S.R. and the United States, culminating in the Cold War. This era was also a time of uncertainty, and the idea of being bombed with a nuclear weapon was a daily fear.

Essay Question

  • In ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’, the use of techniques such as symbolism, characterisation and setting are vital to the success of the text. Explain how the writer employs these techniques and why, in your opinion, is it so important to your appreciation of the text as a whole.

Time Frame

  • This week we will be analysing and evaluating the text with reference to the essay question.
  • On Tuesday the 8th we shall plan and then write the essay. These will be completed by Thursday the 10th.
  • I will aim to have them marked by Monday the 14th and final drafts will be completed for Thursday the 17th.

Science-fiction as allegory

  • As we discussed last week, sci-fi isn’t always just about robots and aliens. Often sci-fi texts and films are allegorical.
  • Allegory is a device used to present an idea, principle or meaning in literary form. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation.
  • As a literary device, an allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor. An example of a simple visual allegory is the image of the grim reaper. Viewers understand that the image of the grim reaper is a symbolic representation of death.

What is the story about?

  • Understanding the allegorical nature is vital to the success of the text in the essay you need to give evidence that shows what the message is and how the author uses setting, characterisation and symbolism to do this.
  • So considering all the elements of the story, what do we think it is about?
  • Think, pair, share.

It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?

  • It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?
  • 1. The automated house and the machines that run it of course represent our obsession with technology and the convenience it can bring. The house is designed to provide everything the family could possibly need but firstly it can’t protect them from nuclear war and secondly it can’t even tell when the family it is designed to serve are all dead and gone.

It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?

  • It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?
  • 2. There is also a message that is supposed to remind us not to disengage too much from nature and that we are mortal animals – not gods. This comes in the way that the house constantly separates itself from the outside world and in the end it is the natural elements that causes its destruction. As well as this the fact that the only characters in the story are machines and robots, replacing living things adds to the conflict between nature and technology in the story.

It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?

  • It is a warning against relying too much on technology, forgetting we are mortal and of course, nuclear war. Why?
  • 3. Of course the story also sends a message about the horror of nuclear war. It does this through setting and atmosphere. Not only do we have the empty, haunted house but we also have the charred surrounding and the ghostly shapes on the wall of the house. The devastation we are presented in the story reflects contemporary year towards nuclear war and should resonate even today.

Activity – Annotate the text

  • Now that we have the essay question we should annotate the story, tracking important quotes that can provide evidence to show how the different techniques help build the meaning of the story.
  • For the rest of the lesson, re-read and annotate the story, keep the essay question in mind. You may want to differentiate your annotations with coloured pens.

Activity

  • Now we need to divide the class into 4 groups who will all analyse one of the techniques from the question as well as the overall meaning and analysis of the text.
  • Each person in the group should have a PEC answer prepared to share with the class as well as guidance on annotations you have made and any notes you thing the class should copy down.
  • Each group shall report back to the class so you can teach each other about how well the techniques are used in the story.
  • Try to format your work in essay style remember to make your Point, give Evidence for it and then Comment on it with analysis and evaluation.

Teaching the Class

  • Read and discuss each others answers.
  • Choose the best two to share with the class.
  • For each answer, one person should teach and the other should put notes on the board for everyone to copy.

For example…

  • In ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’, the use of symbolism is vital to the success of the text. The author employs symbolism throughout the story by using it to convey the meaning of the text. An example of this is represented by the religious references in the text that are designed to warn us not too put too much faith in technology and also that we are mortal animals – not gods. One quote that exemplifies this is when the incinerator in the basement of the house is referred to as sitting “like evil Baal in a dark corner”. This is effective because of the satanic and demonic connotations of the name “Baal” as well as the word “evil”. This is tied together by the fact that this evil looking incinerator lies at the heart of the house, and that the robots feed it all the scraps and dust like they are giving offerings to a god.


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