Text analysis “Cat in the rain” Ernest Hemingway The story under the title “Cat in the Rain” was written by Ernest Hemingway, one of the most favourite American novelists, short-story writer and essayist, whose deceptively simple prose style has influenced wide range of writers. So, the story begins with the description of the hotel where two Americans stopped. It was raining, that’s why the couple stayed in and just a cat in the rain attracted the young woman’s attention. She wanted to get the cat inside but failed and was brought another cat.
The problem of the story lies very deeply and we are to uncover it. The story is written in one mood which constantly and directly increases. It starts from the beginning where it’s created by a persistent and repeated use of the “rain” with a number of phrases associating it, such as puddles, deserted square, glistening war monument. Repetition is one of the widely used and favourite stylistic devices of Hemingway. Here he applies it to reveal the relationship of the protagonist to the old hotel owner (she liked … , she liked… ).
As the verb “to like” is not used to characterize relations of the wife to her husband, this contrast is full of the concealed but easily read meaning. Though the cases of repetition in the story may seem a bit obtrusive, their modifications enter into the core of the narration very organically. They carry emotional character, however penetrating the story the deep sorrow becomes evident gradually. We realize that little, as if meaningless, capricious wishes of a young woman reveal the drama of her fate, the absence of comfort in her life, comparable with the cat in the rain.
The title of the story anticipates this confrontation and the fact that the cat’s image makes great play twice – just increases the total effect. In fact, the young woman pines for love, for home, for her family. And the purring cat she’d like to have and to stroke is a traditional symbol of home and comfort she lacks so much. She wants warmth, attention, care, joy, happiness; however she is brought the cat – a pitiful substitution of that, what she, a young, beautiful woman needs incredibly. This is the main problem of the novel we tried to uncover.
Perhaps the hotel owner didn’t get the reason of her yearnings and took her wish for whim. But dignity, deference and respectfulness of the old man are confronted to egoism and carelessness of George not occasionally. The war monument is also mentioned deliberately. The world George and his wife belong to – is uncomfortable, homeless after-war world, where the fates of young people joined with such hardships and troubles. If to speak about the text itself, it is told in the 3rd person narrative. he description is interlaced with descriptive passages and dialogues of the personages. The author makes extensive use of repetitions to render the story more vivid, convincing, more real and emotional. The author’s style is remarkable for its powerful sweep, brilliant illustrations and deep psychological analysis. Everything he touches seems to reflect the feelings of the heroes. The story reveals the author’s great knowledge of man’s inner world. He penetrates into the subtlest windings of the human heart. Peculiarities of the introduction
The first thing that caught my eyes was the long description at the beginning. First there is a description of the environment in good weather, which means spring or summer, then a description of the momentary situation in the rain. This description creates an atmosphere that is sad, cold and unfriendly. To create this atmosphere Hemingway uses words such as “empty” or “the motorcars were gone”. Later on, by looking at the relationship of the two Americans, you can see that this description was a foreshadowing of the state of the couple? relationship: First it was nice, the spring-time of their love, and now there is only rain, their relationship got cold and unfriendly. Another symbolic hint in this introduction is the war monument, which is mentioned three times. This maybe is done to tell us that a conflict is to be expected. From girl to wife The next thing I wondered about was the spontaneous reaction of the woman after she saw that cat. Usually only children want to protect cats or dogs from the rain, because a grown-up knows that rain does not do any harm to animals living on the street.
From that point on you can find an interpretation which is quite complex and not that easy to explain: On the one hand the woman wants to protect that little cat, which now stands for something innocent and vulnerable, like a baby. So she wants to protect that vulnerable thing, which is more the behaviour of an adult. But on the other hand she acts like a little child by having this wish for a cat. Another hint for that is that the woman is referred to as “girl” in the following paragraph, not as “wife” like before. The sequence in which we get to know that she likes the hotelkeeper a lot is next.
She likes the way he wants to serve her. Why? Because it gives her the feeling to be grown up, to be treated like a lady. But the other reasons for fancying him originate from a more childish thinking, like the fact that she likes him because of his big hands. To underline this childish behaviour, all sentences in this part begin with “She liked.. “, which is the typical way of a child to want something: “I like cats, I like chocolate, I like bubble-gum “and so on. When she talks about the cat in this situation, she does not say “cat” but “kitty”, which is usually a childish expression as well.
The next sentence that seems to be important to me is:” The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time very important. She had a momentary feeling of being of great importance. ” At this point we can see again the two parts of her personality. The child in her feels very timid because of the presence of this tall, old, serious man, the woman in her feels flattered by the way he cares for her. She seems to be like a girl of about fourteen, still being a child and now slowly noticing the woman inside her.