Compare and Contrast by the Rivers of Babylon and There Will Come Soft Rains

Topics: United States, Stephen Vincent Benét, Science fiction Pages: 1 (305 words) Published: October 11, 2012
“There Will Come Soft Rains” is a short story by Ray Bradbury about the last house on an isolated block, its robotic features still functioning. In the end the house is destroyed by a tree falling which causes the house to catch fire which clearly shows nature has taken over. However “By the Waters of Babylon” written by Stephen Vincent Benet tells the story of a Priest’s son named John who while on a spiritual journey finds out that technology devastates humans. The two stories show the weaknesses in mans’ technology. In both instances man was drastically hurt by a technological war. In “There Will Come Soft Rains” man is eliminated altogether. Both stories take place in a futuristic United States. “By the Water of Babylon” in New York and “There Will Come Soft Rains” in California. The significance of this is the technological superiority of the United States to the rest of the world and in the future technology destroys people. The author’s opinion on the matter of technological advances differs greatly. Although they seem to agree that technology will end up wiping us out. Bradbury illustrates negativity in this theme. “And not one will know of the war, not one will care at last when it is done. No one would mind neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly.” He thinks that technology will obliterate everything and everyone but nature will still go on. However, Benet is a bit more hopeful and believes that even after world has been destroyed by technology, there will be some people to rebuild and fix past mistakes. “They were men who were here before us. We must build again.” The message that both stories share is that mankind is moving way too fast with technological advancements which will lead us straight to major destruction.
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