Cat in the Rain, Stylistic Analysis

9 September 2016

It seems that Hemingway’s main contrast in explaining his point is by comparing the wife with the cat. Both are in similar situations where they are kept from being free. One is restrained by the rain while the other one is being restrained by her husband. They both long to be rescued and long to break out of those cages that keep them from enjoying life. The story symbolizes a cat that wants to be free, one that wants to go out and seek the world. Unfortunately, something is holding it back, something out of its control.

Hemingway chose this title to reflect how the wife must feel about not being able to control her own life. She is just like the cat in the rain, a radical and passionate being unable to take a chance because society has placed a restraint on her. The story reveals the author’s great knowledge of man’s inner world. The author makes extensive use of repetitions to render the story more vivid, convincing, more real. Here author uses alliteration of sounds [r], [l]: “Rain dripped from the palm trees, the sea broke in a long line in the rain”, it brings the rhythm to the description of the weather.

Repetition is one of the widely used by Hemminguay. E. g. the repetition of subjects and predicates: «The wife liked him. She liked the deadly serious way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the way he felt about being a hotel-keeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big hands». Or: «”I wanted it so much,” she said. “I don’t know why 1 wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain”».

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