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Book Review: Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway

Cat in the Rain is a short story by Ernest Hemingway set against the Italian backdrop on a rainy day. The duration of the story hardly stretches up to a day but it ably puts forth the idea of vacationing on a rainy day. On the contrary, the story goes anti-romantic for the American couple.


In a hotel in Italy, there are only two guests and they are American couple. The hotel overlooks the sea and a very famous war memorial for that to see people come from across the world. However, the couple is less attentive by its presence.

It is raining. George, the husband of an American girl, is busy reading a book in a hotel room. However the girl is observed in the rain outside, she is at the window. Downright their hotel room, she notices a cat is tussling hard beneath a green table to escape being drenched in the rain. The American girl wants to procure that pretty kitty; she insists and goes down stair. As she reaches down, the innkeeper bows down to her in order to make her feel important - an important virtue in the field of hospitality. She likes the graveness on his face. In fact, she liked him for his face countenance and sincerity. When she is out in the chilly rain with the maid, she is disappointed to find no cat there. She returns dispirited.

In the room, her husband continues reading. She insists to have that kitty. Then she expresses her wish to have led a luxury life and proposes to change her hair style for a change. Unaffected by her, the husband responds vapidly as a result and in frustration she says, “If I can’t have long hair or any fun, I want a cat.”

Soon there is a knock on the door. The maid appears with the cat clapped beneath her bosom. The maid says that the cat is from the innkeeper. The story underlines the missing element of romance in the couple’s lives as they are out for vacationing. Since the husband is shown passive, more into reading, the wife thinks of having some fun or to pass her time by obtaining the cat. At the same time, the hedonistic desires of a woman can never take back seat. As soon as she gets chance, she fails not to express it. Conclusively, the story depicts if not hedonistic pleasure then fun and frivolities and romance in the nature is a preferred choice. No one likes a void in life, especially wives of passive husband.

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