"Cat in the Rain" Interpretation

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Topic: The symbol “cat” in “Cat in the rain” (Ernest Hemingway) In many of his stories, Ernest Hemingway used symbols to express the profound meaning of those stories. In “Cat in the rain”, the poor kitty is the main symbol since it expresses much about the theme of the story. In my opinion, the cat symbolizes three things such as a baby, the couple’s relationship and the wife herself. Initially, the cat is symbolic of a baby. The first reason is the cats here stands for something little and vulnerable which is like a baby. Moreover, when it “was crouched under one of the dripping green tables”, it appears to be so pitiful, which evokes the wife’ caring and protective instinct of a mother. She feels sorry for it because “It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain”. She calls it “she” like it is a human. In addition, although the cat is gone, she still wants to have the cat “sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her”. In short, the wife sympathizes with the cat and wants to treat it lovingly, which is very mother like. Therefore, a baby is the first thing the cat symbolizes.

Next, the cat is also a symbol of the couple’s marriage. The little cat silvering in the rain stands for the unstable marriage of the couple. When the wife sees that poor kitty, she immediately goes to save it. She is willing to go through the rain, which signifies the struggles obstructing her. At the end, she cannot have the cat, in other words, cannot save her deteriorating marriage. In contrasts to the wife’s eagerness, her husband seems to be so indifferent since he is reading all the time:”the husband went on reading”, “George was on the bed, reading”, “he was reading again”, “he was reading again”. Although he does propose to go get the cat, it is just a half-hearted offer. It is only the wife who wants to save the relationship, and without the help of her husband, it cannot be saved. In brief, the marriage of the couple is the next thing that the cat is symbolic of.

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