Isolation is the theme of this story, as indicated from the first two lines:
There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on the stairs on their way to and from their room.
More significantly, the unnamed husband and wife are isolated and alienated from each other. They don't seem well suited as a couple. The husband likes to read and is absorbed in his interior life. The wife lives externally, concerned with the outer world: her hair, her clothes, rescuing a kitty from the rain. She seems supremely dissatisfied with her life and seems to have the mistaken idea that if she changes her outer circumstances, her inner life will repair:
And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.
Both people in this relationship are wounded, members of the alienated Lost Generation that arose after World...
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