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Cat in the rain
Nobel Prize-winning American author Ernest Hemingway left a powerful and versatile creative heritage. Writer gives deep and talented analysis and recreates the contradictions of life in every short story. Multi-million readerships admire books written by Ernest Hemingway. In addition, the creative legacy of Hemingway is mastered in different forms of literary analysis. Critics highlight writer’s creative style, his work materials, correlate all this and more with the world of literature for a more complete mastery of spiritual attainment left by Hemingway. Reading Hemingway it is easy to notice that selfish cowards, in fact, cannot love. And if they name what they experience as “love”, the author leaves it on their conscience. Not everyone likes and accepts the measure of frankness with which Hemingway describes a relationship between a man and a woman. However, it should be noted that these relations themselves are interesting to Hemingway only when they stands for love, or when they perform the beginning of love. If something is not growing to be love, or had not been love before Hemingway rather shortly mention it, not actually writes about it. The master of subtext Ernest Hemingway being simple and clear at first glance, often happens to be not easy to understand in depth. Such reading "between the lines" requires a well-known Hemingway’s story, traditionally included in the anthology of literature and collections for analytical reading - "Cat in the Rain".
Even not a very experienced reader feels narrative’s duality, which does not occur by itself, but because of certain art installations made by author. It performs widely known author’s "principle of the iceberg", which he tried to follow. According to this principle, a large part of what the writer wants to say should be hidden, submerged in the water and only one-eighth part of the "iceberg" should be seen from the first glance. Art in his idea is to know what to leave on the surface, and what to put under water. The story of "The Cat in the Rain" fully illustrates this art installation. In the "freeboard" develops actual action, which has a lower specific weight and importance to the disclosure of the situation what is hidden in the depths. Hemingway's story has one rather simple plot, but it is so intentionally simple and trivial, that contrasts sharply with the intensity and complexity of psychological life, guess the events, with the heat of feelings and emotions of the heroine, who is the central character of the narrative. The text clearly splits into two orders. Along with the actual developing effect of the psychological "underwater" plan of the plot comes out. This psychological effect is the main focus, attracting the attention of the reader, which under certain conditions can accurately indicate moments of psychological states heroine passes through the story. Here, almost every actual action coincides with a change in the internal state of the character, and this takes reader a new meaning and understanding. For example, heroine’s returning to her room is painted with strong emotions. Passing by the hotel’s owner, she suddenly experiences the emotional rise and even jubilation, as always respectful and considerate elderly man touched her to tears and made feeling like a woman worthy of love and adoration, a queen. She walks down the hall, trying to keep this feeling, to feel importance and uniqueness in the presence of her husband, she rushes up the stairs, into the room and find him lying on the bed and reading. Calm and indifferent as ever. The rise abruptly got replaced by disappointment and feeling of emptiness in heart. The change in the heroine’s mood emphasizes an abundance of syntactic methods characterizing Hemingway's prose: graduation, parallelisms give birth to intense rhythm, attract reader’s attention to the episode, which is the key to understanding the complex relationships of the couple. So, with the development of the narrative in the synthesis of the real action the psychological meaning of the story, its subtext is born. Underwater part of the "iceberg", created in the Hemingway story, is not exhausted psychologically. As the reader proceeds another plan looms - a symbolic, which is also woven into the semantic and compositional structure of the text, and participates in the formation of meaning. Cat in the Rain is a symbol of a woman devoid of love and comfort, rain punctuates the vicissitudes of life and the cat sent by the attentive owner of the hotel room, being most probably not the one that heroine wanted symbolizes illusion, often experienced in personal relationships and making her miserable. Even if cat was the same it could not change much in the heroine’s life or better to say vision and understanding of life. “Iceberg approach” gives readers right to search and find as much depth and hidden senses as possible without being afraid to contradict the author’s main idea, because the process is not less valuable than the result in such circumstances.
Looking deeper reader can notice that woman is not just depressed by rain, but obsessed with some continues dissatisfaction, revealed in almost every her move and sentence. Being empathetic to women reader obviously and immediately starts to blame husband in being so irrelevant to his young wife and her troubles. It is the easiest second level of understanding performed by Hemingway – level of not lucky marriage, where “American girl” plays the role of innocent, sensitive victim of cold and even arrogant husband. She tries to find consolation in the communication with total strangers and in her desire to care about the cat. Looking deeper reader should notice continuous attention paid by wife to her desires, which are numerous, and different, strategic and momentum, expensive and available for free. There is not line in the whole text where she asks her husband about what does he want or refers to him about something not linked with her desires and bad mood. As to her desires all of them have at least two levels – first is the frustration about something she does not have and wants, and another one is latent blaming of her husband for that she does not have what she wants. This victim’s position seems to be very comfortable for not taking life in her own hands and doing something more serious than going out under the rain with a maid holding umbrella. Even her desire to have long weighty hair is just another point to show how miserable she is under the pressure of her monster-husband, who actually does not press her, just points his view in standard male manner. Taking kitty from the rain is the example of capricious and impulsive behavior, looking as good deed, but being a manifestation of bored mind and unfulfilled heart. This way “The Cat in the Rain” looks precisely as “uroboro” – snake biting its tale – ending right where it starts despite the long way walked by the reader to understanding that sometimes everything is just the way it seems from the first glance – hotel room, couple trapped by rain, woman that doesn’t know what to do with her time and life in general and deadly tired man responsible for all this process by law and his nature.
Hemingway, E. (1925). Cat in the rain. Retrieved from: http://www.english.heacademy.ac.uk/explore/resources/seminars/activities/handouts/Hemingway.pdf