In his short story Cat in the Rain, Ernest Hemingway uses imagery and subtlety to convey to the reader that the relationship between the
American couple is in crisis and is quite clearly dysfunctional. In other words, the reader has to have a symbolic reading of the images.
In fact, what seems to be a simple tale of an American couple spending a rainy afternoon inside their hotel room serves as a great metaphor for their relationship. This symbolic imagery, hided behind common objects, gives the story all its significance.
In the short story the "The Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway, the cat is a symbol around which the story revolves. As a central symbol, the cat reveals the psychological state and emotional desires of the American wife.
When the cat is first observed it is "crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on."(56) Even though the wife is standing to far from the cat to determine its gender, it is described as "she." This choice of words helps to make a connection for the reader between the wife and the cat. The woman sees the cat in a treacherous environment trying to make it through a storm without drowning, and decides to go and rescue it. From the moment she leaves the room to get the cat, she is told repeatedly not to get wet, but she doesn't care. Her only concern is to get the cat out of rain. Getting this cat is important to her because she empathizes with the it. "It isn't any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain."(57) Before she even has a chance to step into the rain, the hotel keeper has sent out the maid with an umbrella to shield her from getting wet, showing the reader he cares. As she walks with the maid holding the umbrella over them, she is suddenly disappointed to see the cat is gone. When the maid finds out what she was looking for she