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What are the plot, main theme and moral lessons in "The Cat in the Rain" by Ernest...

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tearfuleyes | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:22 PM via web

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What are the plot, main theme and moral lessons in "The Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 17, 2009 at 1:00 AM (Answer #1)

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"Cat in the Rain" is like many Hemingway stories. It has a very simple plot and the reader must read between the lines in order to understand the story's theme. The plot centers around two Americans who are visiting Italy. It starts to rain and they go into a hotel in order to get out of the rain. In their hotel room, the wife sees a cat in the square below trying to shield itself from the rain drops. The woman decides she wants the cat. She leaves her hotel room to rescue the cat but by the time she gets to the square, the cat has vanished. She returns to her room, briefly converses with her husband and then the main appears with a cat for her. Whether this is the same cat the wife saw in the square is not known, but she has her cat nevertheless. 

As one reads this very short story, the reader must be aware that every word is important. The theme of the story revolves around the lack of communication between George, the husband, and his wife, who is never named. Neither one of the couple ever communicates his or her true desires and the woman seems to be dominated by her husband. When she finally does get a cat which is sent by the hotel manager, it is an indication that George is not interested in fulfilling her desires and she will have to have her needs met by someone else.

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