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Word Count: 1,144
In Ray Bradburys There Will Come Soft Rains The Veldt and The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl the reader is introduced to three distinct settings In these three short stories Bradbury paints a vivid picture of the future through the setting and also establishes and utterly normal atmosphere In some stories the setting serves as a mere backdrop for the action a place were the characters speak and move In others the setting forces characters to act spontaneously and unpredictably There will come soft rains is a depressing story about a house This house is totally controlled by computer it cooks meals reads poetry landscapes etc The strange element the reader notices immediately is that no one lives in this house It is inferred that the family was wiped out in a massive war but the house doesnt realize this and it keeps talking and moving as if the family was still there Outside the garage chimed and lifted its door to reveal the waiting car After a long wait the door swung down again The one inhabitant of the house is a dog The dog is slowly dying but since the task of feeding it is not programmed it continues to starve How ironic the house doesnt comprehend that the dog is starving and it continues to pump out pancakes for an empty kitchen Even though the house is always working it seems vacant and dark Bradbury achieves this by placing daily family chores against the emptiness of the house Bridge tables sprouted from patio walls Playing cards fluttered onto pads in a shower of pips Martinis manifested on an oaken bench with egg salad sandwiches Music played But the tables were silent and the cards untouched At four oclock the tables folded like great butterflies back through the paneled walls The setting of The Veldt is very similar to that of There will come soft rains only a family lives here
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