12 Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway General Information "Cat in the Rain" is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway and published in 1925 in New York. The story is set in a hotel in Italy on a rainy day and features characters such as the American wife, George, the hotel-keeper, and the maid. Ernest Hemingway was an American journalist, novelist, and short story writer born on July 21st, 1899, and died on July 2nd, 1961. He served in WW1 in the Italian Army and wrote books in the postwar years. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and coined a writing technique known as the Iceberg Theory. Summary of the Plot The story begins with a rainy day in Italy, where two Americans, the American wife and George, are staying at a hotel. The American wife sees a cat outside and decides to go out and get it, but she doesn't find it. Later, the maid is sent by the hotel-keeper to bring the American wife an umbrella. The wife realizes how discontent she is with her life and how she wants to change it. Narrative Perspective The story is told from a third-person limited perspective, focusing mainly on the American wife's thoughts and feelings. American Wife The American wife is the main character in the story. She is dissatisfied with her life and feels trapped in her marriage. She sees the cat as a symbol of what she wants in life, something to take care of and love. Relationships The relationship between the American wife and George is strained, and they seem to be distant from each other. The hotel-keeper and the maid have a more professional relationship with the American couple. Symbols The cat in the story is a symbol of what the American wife wants in life, something to take care of and love. The rain is a symbol of the sadness and gloominess that the American wife feels. Sources Hemingway, Ernest. "Cat in the Rain." The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition, edited by Charles Scribner Jr., Scribner, 1987, pp. 20-29.
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