Hemingway’s short stories Cat in the Rain and The Snows of Kilimanjaro have male characters that are autobiographical. He attempted to dispel criticism of his short stories as autobiographical because Hemingway did not care for critics. His focus on his work as art ignores the autobiographical and psychological content he depended upon to develop characters. His characters are judged by the female characters of the short stories in the same way Hemingway was judged by his wives.
Ernest Hemingway wrote stories about autobiographical, male characters that lacked maturity as judged by female characters. He exhibited this in his married life and it may have contributed to his risk taking in war as well as his suicide. As one of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920’s, Hemingway communicated his shortcomings through the art of the short story.
Cat in the Rain is a good short story that does two things at once. First, it provides a believable picture of the surface of life and second it also illuminates some moral or psychological complexity that we feel is part of the essence of human life. Firstly, because it is autobiographical, it is a believable picture of the surface of life, his life. Secondly, it illuminates his psychological complexity in ignoring the drive to reproduce which is part of the essence of human life. Hemingway’s story fulfills both of these specifications as a good short story that does two things at once. Cat in the Rain is an autobiographic metaphor for his first wife’s desire to have a baby.
The nameless wife in the story agonized as any other woman would whose biological clock is counting down her drive to reproduce before childbirth becomes more dangerous in later life or when her ovaries stop producing eggs. She says, ‘“I wanted it so much,” she said. “I don’t know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty. It isn’t any fun to be a... [continues]
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