Here we have two stories by Hemingway that describe relationships in turmoil. The author paints two distinct pictures yet the stories manage to stay true to the same style and parallel themes. A world of meaning can be obtained from just a few simple lines. The first story “The End of Something” is written from the point of view of the man, while in “The Cat in the Rain” the protagonist is the woman. Nick, in the “End of Something”, desires the passion and excitement that occurs in the start of a relationship, while the American wife longs to care for something while at the same time, be cared for.
In “The End of Something”, Nick reached a certain point in his life where he needs to go on and have new adventures. He feels that Marjorie is holding him back. Based on the way the story is written, they started dating at a young age and she was Nick’s first girlfriend. The relationship for Nick has run its course and there is nothing to look forward to. He says in the story,"It isn't fun any more. Not any of it." He is too young to settle down when he hasn’t experienced life the way he wants to and there is nothing more left for him to gain from the relationship. He is bored.
The American wife in “Cat in the Rain” has her own desires and wants. She seeks to find internal peace with material things. She wants silverware, she wants to have long hair like a lady, and of course she wants a cat. She asks for these things like a child would ask for them. She says, “I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel. I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.” She even refers to a cat by the childish term “kitty”. The wife wants to feel cared for. She admires the way the hotel owner treats her. This isn’t sexual attraction, he seems more like a father figure giving her the attention she needs; the attention her husband doesn’t give her. In turn, she also wants something to care for herself, like a...
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