In this scene Bradbury uses many different, clever ways to describe the chaos and confusion which is occurring in the passage. The first of which, is the fact that the fire takes on a life of it’s own. The language and direction used to describe the fire somewhat gives it an air of intelligence and hunger. Throughout the entire story, and especially prominent in this section, is the personification of the house. Bradbury uses a clever, effective use of personification during this scene which enables the audience to empathize with the plot and thus builds tension. Nowadays, humans are single-handedly destroying the planet.
All of the new technologies that have been created to make life better are slowly destroying the earth. This is the warning that Bradbury is trying to get across to his audience. His use of personification warns that the fate of the house will be the fate of humans as well, if the current course of action is not altered. Near the end, the continued personification of the house intensifies as the house “dies”. The spectacular way in which the house was destroyed is a comment on mankind’s pending demise. A tree branch falling through the kitchen window and knocking over some cleaning solution sets the room ablaze.
The house tried to save itself. It turned on sprinklers and sent mechanical mice with water to put out the flames, but it was no use. Even though the house is prepared for fires and began pumping water, the solvent spread, as did the flames. It eventually leaks under the kitchen door and into the rest of the house. The house knows what to do to save itself, but the closing doors and pumping water do no good when the windows break and the wind sucks the fire throughout the house. The pump eventually stops showering the fire because the reserve water had been used up.
The house was entirely consumed by flames before anything significant could be done. The fire then worked it’s way upstairs, where the final “reinforcements” stepped in from the attic. These were robots that pumped chemicals onto the fire. The flames then reached the “brain” running the house and there was a large explosion. Then onwards, the fire continues to seep back into ever corner and closet of the house. As the fire spreads, the “voices” die. Every single computer and automated system that was running in the house began to frantically, do their programmed jobs.
This continues until the house simply crashed flat onto the basement, and there is one lone wall left standing, repeating the same message over and over again. The way that Bradbury explains in detail all the facts about how the fire is spreading from place to place keeps the reader hooked thus building the tension and chaos of the situation. Bradbury effectively uses the metaphor of the burning house to show what will happen to the human race. The house, set in its ways, continues on with the daily routine despite the humans being gone.
While continuing the routine, the house uses up all the water that would eventually be needed to save itself. Here, Bradbury is warning that mankind is using up all its resources during our “daily routine” and that those resources may be needed in the future. Bradbury also uses irony to great effect in the story. Irony in this case means presenting an outcome of a situation that is the opposite of what one would expect. Thus, it is ironic that the same technology which created a house that can cook and clean for itself is also the technology which destroyed the house itself.