There Will Come Soft Rains

The Dog Character Analysis

The dog—the story’s only living character—appears on the house’s doorstep at noon, shivering. The house recognizes it and lets the dog in, which suggests that it was once the family pet. The story goes on to say that the dog used to be large and fleshy but has since been worn away by sickness and hunger in the aftermath of the nuclear explosion that killed the family that once occupied the house. Even from the first moment the house encounters the dog, the reader suspects that the house does not like it. At the very least, the house is disgusted by all the mud that the dog tracks inside and cleans it up using robot mice. The dog searches for its family, realizes that no one is home, smells some pancakes cooking in the next room, and dies in a lonely frenzy. As soon as the house discovers that the dog is dead, it quickly disposes of the body. The dog’s brief and pitiable appearance in the story creates juxtaposition between the loving world the reader lives in and the heartless, mechanical realm of the story.

The Dog Quotes in There Will Come Soft Rains

The There Will Come Soft Rains quotes below are all either spoken by The Dog or refer to The Dog. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of There Will Come Soft Rains published in 1977.
There Will Come Soft Rains Quotes

The front door recognized the dog voice and opened. The dog, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud. Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience.

Related Characters: The House, The Dog, Robot Mice
Related Symbols: The Natural World
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
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The dog ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, that only silence was here.

Related Characters: The Dog, The McClellan Family
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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The Dog Character Timeline in There Will Come Soft Rains

The timeline below shows where the character The Dog appears in There Will Come Soft Rains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Nature vs. Technology Theme Icon
At noon, a dog whines at the front door. The house door recognizes the dog and allows it inside.... (full context)
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Death, Control, and Time Theme Icon
Nature vs. Technology Theme Icon
The robot mice return to clean up after the dog, “angry at the inconvenience.” They always appear at the hint of any “offending dust, hair,... (full context)
Life vs. Technology Theme Icon
Death, Control, and Time Theme Icon
The dog runs up the stairs “hysterically yelping” until it realizes, “as the house realized,” that no... (full context)