Symbolism is one of the more subjective points of analysis. Word choice in relation to symbolism means the difference between purposeful symbolism and coincidence. The following are some of the instances in which symbolism was likely the intended effect:
-The reader is told sprinklers doused the charred west side of the house. The usage of west is sometimes notable when performing literary analysis as it can symbolize the death of things, as it is where the sun goes to die on a daily basis. The use of west could also be alluding to which direction the bombs came from. When Bradbury wrote this short story in the ‘50s our nation was locked in the Cold War with the USSR. If the Russians ever launched their weapons they would send many of them east across the Pacific, and the first Americans to be hit would be Californians.
- At one point in the story the family dog, a representation and symbol of nature, returns to the house where it finally succumbs to its radiation sickness and is cruely disposed of by the House, symbolizing the houses hatred of nature.
- After the epic battle, Bradbury mentions the dawn is in the east. The sun has always risen in the east, so the specific mentioning of an otherwise common event was likely deliberate for symbolic reasons. The east represents a new beginning, and referring back to Teasdale’s poem we remember the central idea of “There Will Come Soft Rains” is that nature will eventually reclaim all things.