From the two short stories of Hemingway, ‘The cat in the rain’ and ‘Hills like white elephants’, the first thing noted in his writing style is masculinity. Both stories are easy to read with simple dialogues, has similar character settings in which both hold a conversation between couples. Both stories contain a lot of meanings and symbols within them despite the simple read.
The cat in the rain is about an American couple, husband and wife, spending their vacation perhaps, in an Italian hotel. It is set on a rainy day where the American woman sees a cat in the rain that she wants to protect. She goes out of the hotel, which is operated by an old ...view middle of the document...
The American woman feels the restrain from George; in order to please him, she detains herself just like the cat detaining itself under the table from the rain. It is also noted that when she goes out to get the cat, the description of her changed from “American woman” to “American girl.” One assuming it has to do with her liking of the old and tall Italian hotel keeper. Perhaps, she feels free once she got out of the hotel room leaving her husband behind, free just like a girl. This point just further notes that she feels caged when she is with her husband. The end of the story further proves her lack of freedom when she rants on about all the things she wants like a child and George said ‘oh just shut up and gets something to read.’ He does not care for her materialistic needs or the intangible ones, and perhaps he does not want to give her the freedom to get what she wants simply because he wants to apply that he is the head of their relationship. The cat in the rain perfectly displays the American woman in the story who is held back by something and has no control over her own life and maybe that was how all the women were during that period of time.
‘Hills like white elephants’ was a bit challenging to interpret at first read. The story opens up with a description of the view of the river Ebro, and the white hills beyond it, from a train station in Spain. At first the story seems like it is just about a couple at the train station having drinks and a very tense conversation. After reading it a couple times more, one realizes the American is trying to talk the girl into having a certain operation. The American says to the girl, Jig, that it is an awfully simple operation and that it is just to let the air in, which hints that he wants her to have an abortion. Jig does not seem to want that, she is indecisive about it but she mentions she no longer cares about herself and she will do it in the hope of their relationship going back to the way it is before the pregnancy. It is also noted that although the whole story is a conversation between the American and the girl, they barely...