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“Cat in the rain” by Ernest Hemingway Essay

The Analysis of the short story “Cat in the rain” by Ernest Hemingway. The discourse under analysis is a short story titled “Cat in the rain”. It is written by Ernest Hemingway, an American author and journalist. The story is about an American couple that is staying in a hotel in Italy. The wife wants to get a cat that she saw under the rain, while her husband doesn’t seem to care much about her.

It is obvious that “Cat in the rain “has deeper shades of meaning. The reader can see that something is not right, it does not seem to be a happy marriage and there is a hidden conflict. The cat in the story symbolizes something that the American girl longs for, she certainly needs some changes.

The setting of the story is made to seem familiar and expected by the means of using the definite article E.g.:“the hotel”, “the public garden”, “the war monument”, “the motor-cars”, the description seems to be very typical. The description of the hotel is very detailed, but general. The effect of simplicity and familiarity is also achieved by lack of adjectives and use of parallel structures and simple tenses. The first paragraph abounds in nominal structures “public garden”, “war monument” etc, and the repetition of them gives us a feeling that the situation is rather stereotypical. The repetition of the word “rain” E.g.: “It was raining. The rain dripped from the Palm trees.”; “…in the rain” and focus on the bad weather set the mood of the story. It is quite calm, gloomy and stable.

The lack of development can be observed also through the use of short sentences and same structures. In this story conversation is used to reveal the relationships between the main characters and as means of character drawing. Throughout the story, the American wife becomes increasingly childlike. She uses word “kitty” or “poor kitty” several times in the story, as if she was a child, we might assume that she is rather capricious, because she constantly repeats word “want” and parallel structures, but she does not seem to know what she really longs for. E.g.:” I wanted it so much”;”I want a cat. I want a cat now.” Her husband is quite uninterested and even irritated. The syntactical organization of his speech is very simple and colloquial. His irritation is shown through the use of intensifiers and the imperative mood.

E.g.:”pretty darn nice”;”shut up and something to read” He answers just to be polite, but actually he is ignorant and passive. E.g.:”I like it the way it is”;”yeah”;”you look pretty darn nice”. He treats his wife like a thing and things do not usually have names, just as the wife in this story. On the contrary the hotel keeper and the maid, they do not just want to be polite, they want to show their care. They use both languages and the maid uses modal verbs, as if she talked to a child. E.g.:”you must not get wet”;”we must get back”. We can also notice that when the American wife talks to her husband she is referred as “wife” and when she talks to the maid and the hotel-keeper she is  referred as “girl”, that also shows their different attitudes to her and probably the way how she really feels. The image of the cat in the story is symbolic.

It is the symbol of the wife, her mood and feelings. When she says “it is not any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain”, the use of indefinite article shows that she probably means herself, not just the cat that she saw in the rain. She is obviously searching for something to satisfy her, she needs some changes in her life, as she repeats:”I want a cat”; “I want to have a kitty” again with the indefinite article it is not a particular cat, but something to love and to care of. By the means of using the free indirect speech the author probably shows his opinion. His point of view is merged with the American girls’ point а view , that he may be takes her side and even feel sorry for her.

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