The Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway Essay Sample
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Introduction of TOPIC
In several of his short stories, Ernest Hemingway uses one or more animals as symbols around which the stories revolve. As central symbols, Hemingway’s animals are the manifestation of the psychological states and emotional desires of the main characters in the stories and are used to enable the reader’s apprehension of the often-unstated psychological forces that motivate them.
Besides, Hemingway is the writer who takes the material world very seriously so “Cat in the Rain” is composed by abrupt sentence structure and ambiguous dialogue which represents for Hemingway’s writing style and it demands to be solved like a puzzle.
Perhaps the most obvious occurrence of animal symbols can be observed in the story “Cat in the Rain” in which Hemingway uses the cat to create deeper understanding the story’s content as well as the intention of the author.
First, the American wife wanted to save the cat as she wanted someone to do the same for her. She could understand how uncomfortable the cat was when being crouched in such wet environment like herself in such lonely marriage – “it isn’t any fun to be poor kitty out in the rain” (Hemingway). From the quote, we hear the wife sympathize with the cat so much which reflects her current emotional states – near drowned about her own marriage, her individuality.
There is something in the cat that wife both wants and identifies with which means that it is a symbol that works in at least two ways. The cat’s isolation, pitifulness, its lack of protection, and also the hostility of its surrounding are clearly realized and deeply sympathized by the wife which means she would be seeking for her husband’s attention, protection, care, love and individuality.
Hemingway skillfully created an understanding direction for readers to draw is that there would be no harm for her in that relationship (at least in the meantime) if she kept silent and kept looking outside the window without physical activities which is just the same as the cat; she would be safe if she can keep staying under the table for a while.
Then, how long could the cat sta
y under the table? Obviously, it did not last long. When the American wife came to look for her. She
Besides, the maid’s sentence: “a cat in the rain” could be referred whether you are the cat in the rain? Or “have you lost something?” might be ‘have you lost yourself?’. Hemingway provided readers with open understanding directions in such a simple sentence. In addition to the wish of being protected, being taken care, being attended, being recognized, the wife also longs for the baby by using the cat symbol. However, she is likely to get success in her endeavor.
Second, “I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.” And “Anyway, I want a cat” she said, “I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can’t have long hair or any fun, I can have a cat.” she emphasized the need for a cat that could be symbolic of a baby with her husband. Then, she received her husband’s cold response: “Yeah?”; “Oh, shut up and get something to read” and “George was not listening and he was reading his book. His wife looked out of the window…” Again, the wife’s desire was ignored.
3.2 Tortoise-shell cat
“the light had come on in the square” means the wife is no longer symbolic in the dark. She got the tortoise-shell cat which was not the one she first saw before. The tortoise-shell cat that the author emphasized could represent the wife’s hope that there would be change their life. In other words, Hemingway introduced another cat at the end of the story that might be the encourage his wife to move on and she would have what she was longing for.
3.3 Rain, pool, sea
Rain, pool and sea are fundamental in life and fertility for the wife’s marriage. However, refusing the American husband’s half offer to get the cat for her, she would like to prove her individuality, identity and the wish for freedom or escape from her husband’s control in the current context. She was out to get the cat which means she was far away from her husband’s handle. She was still under an umbrella offered by another man which might state that she would never escape. From which, Hemingway would transfer the message of male dominant society and readers could also understand that the wife will never be released; just from this male’s control to another’s.
Another symbol presented in the “Cat in the Rain” is “A man in rubber cape was crossing the empty square to the café.’ At first reading, it did not catch less attention from reader. However, Hemingway added an meaningless picture into his story is not his writing style. “The rubber cape is a protection for the rain, and rain is fundamental necessity for fertility and fertility is precisely what is lacking in the American wife’s marriage” (Lodge, 1982, p.12)
3.4 Metaphorical expressions
In “Cat in the Rain”, the author used many physical description: the rain, the war monument, the emptiness of the square foreshadow the depressive state of the central character, the American wife and contribute to the meaning of the story as a whole.