Cat in the rain
To choose a life partner. To get married and live happily ever after. Is this there any way to obtain or maintain happiness in a relationship, and is it realistic to These are the thoughts you must consider when choosing the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The American couples in this short story obviously have not had these thoughts and you feel the tension between them just below the surface.
The location is Italy and the weather is horrid. Hemmingway uses one fourth of the short story to describe the location and the weather. This is not a coincidence in such a short story; it is just the top of the iceberg. He starts out by describing how nice a place it is, weaving the reader into an illusion that this is going to be a cheerful story. But a couple of lines in, he breaks this illusion by telling us that is raining and how the place is empty and deserted, which gives the reader the impression of a cold and sad atmosphere. He also outlines the word break in the sentence ??? The sea broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the rain.??? and by this Hemmingway is telling the reader that the American couples relationship has been and is broken. It is very possible that the war monument, which is mentioned three times during the intro, symbolizes a fight they have had and that is still haunting their relationship. The gravel paths are mentioned numerous times in the story, which also points to the fact that their relationship is very uneven.
The last thing to mention in the intro is the cat. The funny thing about the cat is that it is referred to as ???her??? which gives the reader a hint, that the wife sees herself in the cat. ???The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on.??? This implies that she is the one bending over backwards not to set off or anger George (the husband). The fact that she wants to help the cat, is a metaphor for her wanting someone to help or take care of her.
One of the most interesting things about the next part of the story is how she feels about the hotel ??“ keeper. She thinks of him as everything she ever wanted, and she doesnt even know him. The interesting thing about it is that this might have been the way she felt about George in the start of their relationship. But they rushed into things without knowing each other well enough. Another thing that is worth our attention is how childish the wife begins to sound from this point on. She rest of the story she uses a lot of words like ???Want???, ???Like??? and ???Kitty???, which gives us an impression that she isnt very grown-up. Meanwhile Hemmingway makes it even easier for the reader to see the child in the wife by referring to her as ???the American girl??? instead of ???the American wife???.
This is called omniscient writing and one of the things that define Hemmingway??™s writing. Another thing we also see in this story is the zero ending. Also a defining thing about Hemmingway??™s writing. This story is so short that its hard to even grasp that there actually is a problem at the first read, and it would nearly be impossible to do a story this short, with so much depth that was resolved. This is much like another short story by Hemmingway named???3 shots???, which also has a zero ending, but continues into another story ???Indian camp??? where the problem is resolved. We also see the signature of Hemmingway in the way he describes the environment. Since he travelled a lot, he often did write about places afar.
When the wife gets back to the room she completely turns into a child. This is also the first time we get a hint of what she looks like. She has short hair, and she almost asks his permission to let it grow again.
At first when she beings her ???I want??? monolog, George is listening and actually seems interested. But as she continues he gives up on giving her the things she want, and begins to read again. Hemmingway often used his own life as a parallel to the stories he wrote, and this scene might just have happened, but maybe slightly different. Georges reading is a form of escapism. He does not want to be with his wife, as people in a functional relationship would. If we look at the ending of the story the wife is provided for by another man. George does not see this, but all her ???I want??™s in last part of the story has been about her wanting things she cant get from him. She simply wants out.
???The Cat in the rain??? is basically a short story about the dysfunctional relationship between two people. It might even be about Hemmingway himself. One thing is for sure, if it was about his own life, it was an apology to his former wife, seeing as George is not very empathic to his wife, and the wife is our main character. If he blamed her for their failed relationship he would not have presented himself as the ignorant one. On the other hand he kind of mocks her by presenting her as a child. ???The cat in the rain??? is truly an amazing short story, cause of its length compared to its depth.