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Modernism - A Cat, a Wife and a Want

            Whether an action-packed movie or a cheesy love poem, symbolism is everywhere nowadays. Ernest Hemingway, the author of Cat in the Rain, is the mastermind of symbolism. An amateur reader can glance through a short story and only see what is above the surface. But if one truly picks the story apart, a whole new meaning can be uncovered. In any source of modern literature, characteristics like symbolism can always be discovered.
             Hemingway begins his short story by setting the scene. Instantly the reader could assume his attention to detail is to just help the reader understand the vision in the story, but his detailed descriptions are much more. His first paragraph is the longest in the entire story and the only idea being explained is the weather and scenery. Hemingway sets the scene in a secret, gloomy way. A beautiful hotel is described with "big palms and green benches in the public garden" but a "war monument" and rain dripping "from the palm trees" can also symbolize the misfortune that is to come. Both signs of death and bad weather overall symbolize emotional despair or sadness. These small signs symbolize the inner feelings of the wife, who sadly goes unnamed, throughout the story.
             As much as the detail goes unnoticed, Hemingway purposely does not choose a specific name for the unfortunate woman. The woman is nameless; just like the cat in the rain. Also, never being called by her true name symbolizes the distance and lack of affection between the wife and the husband. Hemingway purposely leaves out this detail because it is unimportant to the overall effect of the story, but he secretly sheds a little light on the entire subject and meaning by leaving the names out. Also, a symbol of wanting is shown in the story with a simple gesture. As the wife stands in the hotel room she gazes outside at the scenery around her. Her yearning look symbolizes her emotions and the want for something more.

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