Reader Response to Cat in the Rain

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This short story written by Hemingway is titled Cat in the Rain. The title suggests that something weak (‘cat’) is trapped in a difficult situation (‘rain’). Since cats are generally very afraid of water, being in the rain can be such a torture to them. From the title, it is hinted that the story may be related to some characters having to go through difficulties and struggles.

In the story, the American wife cannot find the poor little cat when she goes outside of the Italian hotel to try to save it from the rain. The cat somehow wakes up the inner self of the wife and she starts to change after trying to get the cat. Her attitude changes drastically. For example, she suddenly asks her husband if it is a good idea to let her hair grow out, saying she is ‘so tired of looking like a boy’. The wife goes through some internal struggles and wants to break out of her current life to make some huge changes, first by altering her appearance. She also mentions changing her lifestyle such as ‘I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles.’ The husband, George, shows no particular interest or even gets annoyed when his wife shows these changes after trying to get the cat. He pays no attention as her wife is saying how much she wants to get a new life and later he even asks her to ‘shut up and get something to read’. The husband represents the difficulties that the American wife has to face. However, despite the difficulties, the wife is very determined to get what she wants, as seen from her stressing ‘I want a cat. I want a cat now’, and she eventually can get the cat from the maid. Both ‘cat’ and ‘rain’ are symbols in the story. While ‘rain’ may represent an opposing force, ‘cat’ represents a courageous person who is not afraid to overcome barriers. In the story, the wife is the ‘cat’ of the story whereas his husband is the ‘rain’. In my opinion, the theme of Cat in the Rain is about change and embracing challenges.

In terms of the language used,...
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