An Analysis of “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway
The short story Cat in the rain by Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite pieces of short fiction written by an American writer. I read the story for the first time in my second year at the university and, ever since then, whenever I met people who shared my passion for literature, I bring up Cat in the rain. What puzzles me most is the uncertainty that I have regarding the cat. Is the cat that the American woman saw in the rain the same one with the cat that the innkeeper gave her at the end of the short story?
The short story Cat in the Rain was written in the 1920’s. It is about an American couple who spends their holidays in an Italian hotel. It is a rainy day and the American woman sees a cat in the rain, which she wants to protect from the raindrops. When she goes out of the hotel, which is kept by an old Italian (who seems to do everything to please the woman), and wants to get the cat, it is gone. Upon returning to the hotel room, she starts a conversation with her husband George, who has been reading all this time, and tells him how much she wants to have a cat (and other things). Her husband seems to be annoyed by what she says and is not interested at all. At the end of the story there is a knock on the door and a maid comes, holding in her hands a cat for the American woman.
Point of view
This is an intriguing story, one of relatively few in Hemingway’s writings told from the point of view of a woman. It is important to mention that, as a writer, Hemingway was obsessed with masculinity, violence and death.
Although the point of view is third-person omniscient, our sympathies as readers lie with the female protagonist, referred to only as “the American wife.” The story works its way through her consciousness as she spies a stray cat huddled under a dripping table outside an Italian hotel and her attempt to rescue it.
The beginning of the story stands for the rising action: the background, the