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Cat in the Rain

Oct 08, 1999 478 Words
Cat in the Rain

The short story, “Cat in the Rain”, by Ernest Hemingway describes the stereotypical relationship between two married American tourists, one of whom is striving to recover a “poor kitty”. This seemingly mundane plot becomes symbolic and purposeful as the reader gazes beneath the surface to find the true intent of the short story. There are three characters in Hemingway’s story which help convey these meaningful analogies; in addition, the cat, the American woman, and the American man all represent something different in our present American society. The story is set in Europe and involves two foreigners for a special reason. They are isolated in a sense, forcing their true emotions and characteristics to shine forth. The husband is the typical guy, very uninterested in what is going on around him as long as he’s content. He does not seem perceptive to his wife’s needs, whether it is help getting the cat or confidence about her looks. Instead, he sits back and enjoys reading the newspaper while his loved one rants and raves. An example of this is when the wife decides that she is going out in the rain to fetch a lost kitten, the husband gives a courtesy “I’ll do it” but makes no further attempt to help out. He has an another chance to help out his wife while she is pondering what to do with her boyish hair cut; however, he again only offers “I like it the way it is” instead of talking it over with her. The wife’s character is much different than her laid back husband’s. She is involved with everything and seems to be very sociable; furthermore, she sets a goal to help the cat although it is pouring rain outside. Throughout the story she is looking for comfort and support for her actions from her husband. She needs his support to give her confidence to carry through with her plans. The wife is a good example of striving to reach one’s goal and not losing hope upon initial failure. She fails in attempting to rescue the cat but in the end she obtains her prize. The cat is essential to the story because it represents the woman’s wants and desires that the husband cannot help fulfill. The woman must go out on her own to reach happiness and peace of mind. This relationship is unfortunately the standard husband and wife association in our society, the lazy man who is only focused on his own needs along with the wife who doesn’t have any self-confidence unless he gives it to her. There is always that goal that everyone attempts to capture and sometimes, if they are lucky, they do.

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