2 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.
3 All the children want to play, Rain, Rain, Go AwayRain, 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?
4 The GenreRain, 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.
5 The Wright family represents the stereotypical all-American family: Mrs. Wright = homemaker, nosy neighborMr. Wright = works, watches the game, ignores his wife’s gossipTommie = plays baseball (America’s pastime)
6 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.
7 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…
8 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.).
9 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.
10 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.
11 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…
12 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?