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Cat in the Rain Literary Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 05/22/2013 01:56 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.5 
  • Words: 1478
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Question: Does the cat in Hemingway’s story Cat in the Rain represent material desire or   spiritual/emotional desire?
Ernest Hemingway, as a person, is a complex individual and that is clearly reflected in all of his works—most especially in Cat in the Rain. This incredibly short story was written with a lot of symbolism, the most important symbol being the cat. The cat represents both material and spiritual/emotional desire. The cat is a material desire because it represents a baby, a home and   possesions that the wife wants. It also symbolizes emotional desire because it represents attention and stability and protection.
The cat represents a baby in two aspects. The first one is when the American wife calls the cat a ‘kitty’ while her husband and maid call it a cat. In Gieseler’s (2011) writing, Coulthard says that “it is interesting to note that in American English the pronunciation of ‘kitty’ is very close to the pronunciation of ‘kiddy’ which leads most readers to assume the couple to be childless and see the kitty as a potential child substitute”(p. 31). The good weather in the beginning of the story may tell us that at first the marriage was fine. But later, there is some kind of a problem between the couple and the rain represents this problem. Neither of them go out in the rain, instead they stay inside the room. They both avoid solving the issue. The wife wants to fill the emptiness of their marrige with a baby, which she wants very much. She goes out in the rain and tries to get the cat which she also really wants. In the story we can see that in line 105 and 106 the wife says “I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her”. The ‘kitty’ here is the desired baby. She wants to have and take care of a baby.  
Secondly,   the wife wants a family when she says that she wants to eat at a table with her own silver and candles. The wife wants to be a family and the way to make a family is by having a baby. She feels very alone, with no...


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