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The Only Consistency Is Inconsistency

            "There Will Come Soft Rains" is one of Ray Bradbury's most notable short stories, taken from one of his most popular books, The Martian Chronicles. However, despite his rather extensive revisions in past years (Eller 251), there are many "loose threads" that still deserve attention more than fifty years after the initial publishing.
             One of Bradbury's continuous improvements was to add more detail to his stories as he could between later published editions of a given story or book. While he did in fact add more vivacity to "Soft Rains", as in the case of refining the description of the mechanical robot mice that cleaned the unoccupied house (Eller 251), he failed to account for the simplest of things such as where the sickly dog with sores had come from, whom the house recognized by voice when it whined outside and allowed it to enter (Chronicles 168). This conflicts with a previous implication where Bradbury had stated, "The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing," coupled with commentary on the fate of the family who lived in the house before their untimely demise (Chronicles 167). Based on the description of their silhouettes being etched into the side of the house due to an atomic blast having disintegrated them, a general conclusion by the reader can be drawn that there were not likely any survivors, at least within or around the city where the house still stood, and yet suddenly a dog appeared seemingly from out of thin air. The animal's presence further added to the confusion when it died from starvation and possibly its wounds, where after an hour had passed, the "angry little mice" that were picking up mud and dust earlier in the day were dispatched to dispose of the carcass. Details were not given, but in the next statement, "The incinerator glowed suddenly and a whirl of sparks leaped up the chimney (Chronicles 169).

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