Analysis of Rain, Rain, Go Away by Isaac Asimov

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Analysis of Rain, Rain, Go Away
by Isaac Asimov
About the Author
• Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in the Soviet
Union.
• He came to the U.S. when he was 3.
• He was a writer of science fiction/fantasy.
• He died in 1992.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day,
All the children want to play,
Rain, rain, go away.
• What does this story have to do with the
popular children’s song?
The Genre
• Rain, Rain, Go Away is a science fiction story.
Science fiction includes unrealistic elements
(for example, characters being made of sugar).
• It is a story that includes realistic concepts as
well (such as nosy neighbors, amusement
park, etc.) to make the fantastic events seem
more believable.
• The Wright family represents the stereotypical
all-American family:
– Mrs. Wright = homemaker, nosy neighbor
– Mr. Wright = works, watches the game, ignores his
wife’s gossip
– Tommie = plays baseball (America’s pastime)
• The name Wright is also significant in that Asimov is
suggesting that Americans are always “right” (or, at least,
they think they are).
• George Wright’s comment that the Sakkaro boy playing
baseball is “like Chinese water torture” is especially
significant: he is saying that a “non-American” attempting
to play baseball (America’s game) is torturous for him to
have to hear (This is vindicated when Mr. Wright “glanced
with distaste at the television” when “Schoendienst was at
bat.”).
• Tommie’s unwillingness (?) to play with him shows the
future’s lack of acceptance (or at least hesitance) as well.
• The Sakkaros are an enigmatic family.
• They represent a family from a foreign country; people
Americans do not understand and therefore judge.
• Also, the name Sakkaro is a play on the word saccharine
which means sugar.
• Although they are an anomaly, they are described as
“sweet,” “pleasant,” and “handsome.”
• Asimov is suggesting that no matter how sweet people
(“non-Americans”) are, if we (Americans) do not
understand them, it doesn’t matter…
• The Sakkaro’s obsession with the weather is
symbolic of people from other countries/who
are “different” being concerned with
(dangerous) things they cannot control…
• …such as the “climate” of American society (in
other words, how American’s feel about them
and treat them.).
• The Sakkaro’s refusal to eat anything
“American” (like a hamburger or hot dog)
represents their uncertainty about
(unwillingness to?) acclimating into American
society.
• At the same time, the Wright’s disgust at the
Sakkaro’s “sweet tooth” simply represents
America’s disapproval of new people.
• The two families finally get together and go to an
amusement park (this can be seen as an “all American”
thing to do): the Wrights feel perfectly comfortable
while the Sakkaros are on edge. It is fun and
comfortable for the Wrights, and unusual for the
Sakkaros: Mrs. Wright used her “mother’s psychology”
because it would be “easier for her to go along with it.”
Then Mrs. Wright says, “I suppose they’ve never been
to a place like this before and they’ll need time to
adjust to the novelty.” It represents American society.
• At the sight of one cloud, the Sakkaros want to go
home (to safety), and the Wrights scoff at this.
• Finally, the Sakkaros dissolve in the rain because they were
made of sugar (sweet and fragile) just before they get into
their house (ironically).
• The rain is not something the Wrights worry about. (Think
about T.W.U.!) The rain = the difficulties of fitting into
American society; it is the “climate” of American society.)
• There is another IRONY here: rain = water = cleanliness,
purity, life (all living things need it to survive) but it kills the
Sakkaros.
• The conclusion = the theme of the story: Isaac Asimov is
suggesting that it is difficult (Americans make it so) for
“non-Americans” to be comfortable in American society.
But…
Discussion Question:
• Did the Sakkaros melt (fail to thrive/survive;
die) because they didn’t try to acclimate
themselves into American society? Or because
the Wrights (the Americans, if you will)
refused to accept them for who they were?
And, did the Wrights mean well? Whose fault
is it?

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