The Cat in the Rain

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E. Hemingway “Cat in the Rain”
Text Interpretation

We tend to think of marital life as of a wonderful time, when two soul mates live happily, worshiping each other. However, having a family and seeming happy, one can be misunderstood and feel lonely. And this is the theme of Ernest Hemingway’s story “Cat in the rain”. The story is about a young American couple, who spend their time in Italy. The reader knows nothing about the couple’s past, and even the American wife’s name is unknown, which is a part of the author’s intention: Hemingway generalizes on the problem of marital life, and builds up a typical image of a wife, unhappy in her marriage. The story begins with the description of a hotel where the American wife and her husband stay. This descriptive paragraph occupies a strong position of the beginning. Everything seems to be ideal with the characters: a cozy room on the second floor, a lovely view from the window, but the author’s description of rain evokes a mood of sadness. To bring this air of melancholy home to his reader, Hemingway introduces parallel constructions: "The rain dripped from the palm trees. … in a long line in the rain". The nouns rain, pools, and sea belong to one semantic field – that of water, which comes to be associated with inevitability. Indeed, one cannot hide from the rain. Water is everywhere: it is on the ground, it is pouring from the heavens as though the nature were weeping for something. Alliteration, namely the repetition of the sounds -r-and -l-(Rain dripped from the palm trees, the sea broke in a long line in the rain), brings the necessary measured rhythm into the utterance, imitates the sound of rain. In such a dull evening the American wife sees a cat in the rain, and feels a strong inexplicable desire to get it. Hemingway writes: “The cat sat under the table and tried to make herself so compact that she wouldn't be dripped on”. The reader easily imagines a small, wet...
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