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Ernest Hemingways Cat in the Rain

1925: o first printed in In Our Time o written while Hemingway was living in France o His short stories however particularly those in In Our Time are consistently considered some of his finest efforts! o not auto"iographical Hemingway claims #in a letter to F! $cott Fit%gerald& that the story was not a"out his marriage to his first wife which was falling apart at the same time the story was written 'merican couple vacationing in an Italian hotel o hus"and ( )eorge o wife has no name

Summary Only two 'mericans are in the hotel! Their room faces the sea a pu"lic garden and a war monument! *any Italians come from far away to see the monument! That day it is raining and the 'merican wife is loo+ing out the window! $he sees a cat under a ta"le that is trying to +eep dry! $he tells her hus"and that she is going to get it! He tells her not to get wet! ,ownstairs she is greeted "y the hotel operator whose seriousness and willingness to please she adores! -hen she goes outside he sends a maid after her with an um"rella! $he does not find the cat! $he goes "ac+ upstairs feeling sad! $he as+s her hus"and if she should grow her hair out! He says that he li+es it the way that it is! $he decides that she wants a "un at the "ac+ of her nec+ and a cat to stro+e and a ta"le with her own silver and some new clothing! He tells her to shut up and to find a "oo+ to read! $he says that she still wants a cat! .ust then someone +noc+s at the door! It is the maid! $he has "rought up a cat at the re/uest of the hotel operator! Commentary The 'merican wife e0presses a desire for many things in this story! $he tells her hus"and that if she cannot have any fun then she might as well have things that she wants! In other words this desire for material goods comes from an ina"ility to ac/uire intangi"le goods such as fun and affection! This lac+ of intimacy is not entirely her hus"and1s fault of course! $he also ignores his compliments! This American way desiring material objects and becoming bored is contrasted with an Italian way of vacationing! The Italians arrive in the same location to see the war memorial and honor the war dead! They are more involved in the ideas of the place than in owning things from it! In addition it is a more communal way of living to honor the sacrifices of others rather than to stay inside and read! 2 http:33www!spar+notes!com3lit3inourtime3section24!rhtml 5 66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666 6 CAT: CAT = symbol o for Hemingway7 o for the wife7 pro8ection o 9a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on!:

o o o o o

cat stuc+ in the rain with no"ody to care for vulnera"le greatest fear curled up for protection sym"oli%es the wife who longs to "e loved

T RT ISESHE!! CAT The term tortoiseshell cat refers to a coloration pattern caused "y a specific genetic trait! It is not a specific "reed of cat!

The coats of tortoiseshell cats are a mi0ture of colors! Tortoiseshell coats com"ine black, white, red or ginger and occasionally silver or ginger ta""y patterns! The si%e of the patches can vary from a fine spec+led pattern to large areas of color! ;ats with a "asic white color and red and "lac+ patches are +nown as tortoiseshell6and6white or more commonly calico cats! The tortoiseshell coloration is a se06lin+ed trait! $e06lin+ed genes are those carried on the mammalian < chromosome "ut not the = chromosome! In cats the gene controlling the red color is carried on an < chromosome! The gene controlling "lac+ and other 1non6red1 colors is also carried on an < chromosome! $o a tortoiseshell is formed when you com"ine two < chromosomes one containing the red colors and the other containing the non6red colors! >ecause two < chromosomes are necessary for this particular pattern of coloration o"er ## $ercent o% tortoiseshell cats are females! In order for a male to "e a tortoiseshell he would need to have two < chromosomes! This condition is called ?linefelter1s syndrome and these males are almost always sterile! 2 http:33star+villeveterinaryhospital!com3newsletter!php 5 Tortoise shell cats in myths o However the ?hmers of $outheast 'sia offer one interesting e0planation! 'ccording to their fol+lore the first tortoiseshell arose from the menstrual "lood of a young goddess "orn of a lotus flower during a magical ritual! o Other fol+lore concerning the tortoiseshell include the following: 1& The ;elts considered it a good omen if a male tortoiseshell stayed in their home 2& The @nglish "elieved that warts could "e healed if ru""ed "y the tail of a male tortoiseshell1s tail during *ay A& .apanese fishermen "elieved that male tortoiseshells protected the vessel from ghosts and storms B& $ome "elieve that having a tortoiseshell in one1s dream gives that person luc+ in love! 25 o A stray tortoise shell cat foretells bad omen 2 http:33www!0mission!com3Cemail"o03fol+lore!htm5

o Tortoiseshell cats were "elieved to "e a"le to see into the future and could give the gift to a luc+y child in the household! #same site& o In Dormandy seeing a tortoiseshell cat foretold death "y accident! #same site& o If you dream of a tortoiseshell cat you will "e luc+y in love! &urther symbolism: o ;at ( female #pro"a"ly& ( wi%e o ;at ( male sterility ( husban' ThatEs why she doesnEt have +ids o multi6colored no distinct pattern no "oundaries randomness ( 'mericans America( !ost )eneration o drifting nomadic no home ( America the 9melting pot: Sterility* in%ertility o void in marriage filled with pets toys material o"8ects o unnatural 66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666 6 +I&E no name 9'merican girl: lonely empty wants F wants F wants materialistic child ( pet pet ( child something to ta+e care of something to amuse her as she amuses her hus"and something to fill her void emptiness loneliness o materialistic OG lonely77 o whiny OG starved for attention77 o o o o o H,S-A./ o )eorge o uncaring aloof o letEs wife go out in the rain unprotected o cares more a"out his "oo+ than his wife o thin+s she humorous her funny little ways heEs amused "y her as if sheEs a child pet o heEs so used to her always wanting F wanting F wanting that he +nows this is 8ust another one of her little games or crusades save the poor children homeless H cats in the rain o 9shut & find something to read:: patroni%ing humored "y her little ways7 humorously amusedly7

cold indifferent7 #DOT 9shut up & kiss me: OG 9shut up & come make love to me:& o -ill he let her +eep the tortoise shell cat7 0A/R .E o male o "etter than the hus"and doesnEt let the woman go out in the rain gives her a cat the 9simple things: o doesnEt actually do anything has the maid #girl& do it um"rella tortoise shell cat se0ist7 no "etter than the hus"and7 good "usinessman ta+es care of a customerEs needs sends maid out in the rain with um"rella sends maid out in the rain to get a cat Italian vs! 'merican7 thoughtful caring la%y unaffectionate 0A/R .E dignity will commitment attention to wife thoughtful serves3satisfies her needs #/uite easily& turns her on se0ually H,S-A./ no dignity will commitment indifference to the wife thoughtless ignores patroni%es her needs indifferent to her se0ually to her come6on

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+ar 2onument: o honor respect self6sacrifice o death )ar'en: o nature life6giving o )arden of @den7 +ar 2onument in the )ar'en: o death F life mi0ed sterility3infertility miscarriage77 a"ortion77 o so far removed from the )arden of @den Rain: o life6giving fertility o "ad weather #contrasts to good weatherHon a vacation& Rain Coat: o prophylactic sterility3infertility o padroneEs thoughtfulness vs! hus"andEs indifference Cats: o for Hemingway o for 'mericans #materialistic easily pacified ennui& o for the wife #longing to "e loved& o sterility3infertility o cats vs! dogs: cats ( individualistic loners anti6social dogs ( gregarious communal social Husban' 3 +i%e: o 'merica 'merican -ay o human nature impulse to "e selfish petty self6serving indifferent materialistic I'G'>J@777777 0a'rone: o Italy Italian3@uropean -ay

I.&ERTI!IT1 S12- !S: garden w3war monument rain coat type of cat hus"andEs coldness3indifference to her come6on lac+ of interest in se0 lac+ of passion 66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666 6 A.TI4A2ERICA. ST R15: o 'merican ( negative o wife ( materialisticK wants F wants F wants never satisfied o hus"and ( aloof distant uncaring unaffectionate la%y o people ( possessions

o o o o o o

child ( pet wife ( pet the only 'mericans in the hotel materialistic childish impotent infertile7 'merican men ( la%y unaffectionate impotent 'merican women ( materialistic wanting lonely "arren discontented easily satisfied ITA!IA. way o% li"ing*"acationing not materialistic o #altruistic giving serving& o no ties to o"8ects give as gifts o o"8ects ( tied to others o less to serve others others4centere' o gallant self6sacrificing $ur$ose o to see the war memorial and honor the war dead interested in the ideas of the place a more communal way of living o to honor the sacrifices of others

A2ERICA. way o% li"ing*"acationing materialistic o #ac/uisitive greedy selfish& o desiring material o"8ects o F then "ecoming "ored #ennui& o more more more sel%4centere' o selfish self6interested3a"sor"ed $ur$ose o to vacation not to honor the sacrifices of others interested in owning things from the place a more individual #selfish& way of living o to stay inside and read

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9Say 1es: o arguments L something other than what theyEre L on the surface than what they seem o hus"and doesnEt 9get it: 90arable o% 0ro'igal Son: o para"le of human failings o lost in a far off land o close together "ut miles apart o emotional3psychic disconnect husban's 3 wi"es: #relationships& o 9Say 1es: o 90ow'er: o 9Story o% Hour: o 9Clo' 3 0ebble: 66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666 6


A!!E) R1( 0ARA-!E: everything everyone ( sym"ol for something larger


short concise message thematic )RA0HICA!: his marriage to his first wife which was falling apart at the same time the story was written "itterness toward his mother, whom he viewed as selfish and domineering alienation disenfranchisement His short stories however particularly those in In Our Time are consistently considered some of his finest efforts! The ma8ority of these stories focus on Dic+ 'dams a protagonist often discussed as the /uintessential Hemingway hero and the first in the line of the author1s M%ictional sel"es!M

&E2I.IS2: treatment of women o wife patroni%ed condescended to ignored indifferent to infertility desperate for attention easily amused appeased materialistic o maid servant out in rain w3wife out in rain for cat infertility o unnatural o void empty o unfulfilled HIST RICIS2: Jost )eneration -orld -ar I 0S1CH 4A.A!1TICA!: $ro6ection o wife pro8ects her feelings onto the cat wife ( lonely feels unloved wants F wants F wants wants to "e ta+en care of wants to ta+e care of someone3thing wants a child child ( pet o the cat is fine N goes off on its own can ta+e care of itself N needs no protection o ennui transference sterility3infertility

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o -hat is the state of their marriage as the story opens7 o Is the tortoise shell cat the same one that was in the rain7 ,oes it matter7 o -ill that satisfy the wife7 -ill she still want more7 ,oes she 8ust want F want F want7 #li+es to complain7& o -ill )eorge let her +eep the cat7 o -ill she want to +eep the cat7 o -as it ever really a"out the cat7 see 9Say 1es: o ,oes the IOO shift from the wifeEs to the hus"andEs at the end not the cat "ut a cat #he never saw it& o @pilogue: ,oes she +eep it ,oes he let her ,o they stay together ,oes she cheat on him first chance ,o they have children ;an they have children ,o they wander aimlessly lost ,o they settle down