What did the robot mice do in "There Will Come Soft Rains?"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "There Will Come Soft Rains," the robot mice are responsible for cleaning the automated house. This is made very clear through our introduction to the mice, which happens early on in the story:

Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were a crawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal.

The robot mice then collect all the dust and debris before returning to their hole in the wall.

Later in the story, the robot mice come back. This time, they have to clean the house because the dog has made it muddy.

You will notice that in this instance, Bradbury personifies these robots. He describes them as being "angry" when they have to clean up after the dog. By using personification in this way, Bradbury warns us about the potential dark side of technology. He is saying that if we are not mindful of the potential dangers of technology, we could end up in a situation like this. Humans will be wiped out, replaced by armies of robots who do our chores and experience our emotions.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The mice clean the house.

The mice in the house are there to clean it.  They are robot mice that stay in the walls.  The house is a fancy automated house.

Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal.

 In this future year of 2026, the house takes care of its ow maintenance.  It makes breakfast for its inhabitants, cleans itself, and acts as a kind of smartphone.  It keeps your calendar, is your alarm clock, and tells you the news.

The irony of the little robot mice is that we usually associate mice with filth and disease, not cleanliness.  The mice also move about in a futile manner, over and over.  The house is clean.  There are no humans to mess it up.  The house is self-sufficient, and it doesn’t know.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial