Hidden symbols of ‘Cat in the Rain’ by Ernest Hemingway, 500 words essay example
A truly powerful and tactical writer does not need to spoon feed and spell out to his reader what to comprehend from his story he can transfer the meaning of a story through expressive symbolism. Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway is a seemingly simple short story, but an indepth reading of the symbols reveals deeper meaning. Although Hemingway does explicitly state why the American wife is in distress, the American wifes desire to save a cat from the rain becomes symbolic of her loneliness and depressing marriage. Her trivial desires of long hair, a cat, and silver candles all signify her need for a drastic change in her life. In Cat in the Rain, Hemingway employs symbols that are seemingly just trivial desires of the American wife in order to convey the theme that peoples wants for seemingly inconsequential items are often just the iceberg tips of deeper, subconscious needs.
The cold and abandoned cat in the rain symbolizes the America wifes feelings of loneliness and need of rescuing from her inattentive husband. The American wife says, I wanted it so much. I dont know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isnt any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain. Here, the American wife is oblivious to her subconscious need of a new life in which she receives affection and attention. She cannot figure out exactly why she wants this cat, but it is clear that she feels a deep sympathy towards it and identifies with its problems. Hemingway describes the cat trying to make itself as "tight" and small as possible to stay dry. The cat is clearly feeling trapped and confined in its distressing environment. The American wife, too, is feeling trapped in her environment. She is hampered in her little hotel room and cannot go outside due to the rain. She is isolated from other people since she does not know anyone in this foreign country, and most importantly, she is trapped in her marriage, as she is trying and failing to get her husband to notice her. It is clear that in many ways, the cats issues of being stuck under a table are analogous to the womans emotional imprisonment and isolation from her husband. The American wife tells her husband, I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her. Here, the cat symbolizes her longing to be physically held and stroked, and emotionally attended to. The fact that the Padrone gets the cat for the American wife is emblematic because if she ever does achieve attention or feel loved, it will be from another man and from not her husband. On the tip of the iceberg this story is just about a woman who wants to rescue a freezing and wet cat that she sees, but under the iceberg, it is a much more complex story about a the woman, herself, who needs rescuing.
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