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Female Characters in Hemingway's Cat in the Rain

            In The Cat in the Rain, Hemingway refers to the characters not by their names (except for an American man named George), but by their professions and social roles. This is a sign that the story deals with their lives, hopes and frustrations through those roles and how adequate the characters perform them. There are two female characters in this story: the American woman and the maid. In general, characters' dialogue and appearance do not completely define them, it seems that their actions give us more information about who they really are. .
             One thing about the maid is obvious: she takes her job seriously. One can think that she does not even believe that there was a cat in the rain, but she goes outside with the American woman. The scene where she stays outside just to close the umbrella, while the woman goes inside best represents her dedication to her job. She is always where she is supposed to be. We just see her through her job, we cannot even imagine other aspects of her personality. We can say that the American woman is the protagonist in this story. Yet, we do not know her name. The narrator, her husband and the staff never address her by her name. We can call her American woman, lady, Segnora, as the staff call her, or even American wife. Being a wife seems to be the only identity this woman has. This could point out how important marriage is to her. We do not even know the reason for their staying. The husband, George, has his reading, he can chose whether or not he wants to listen to his wife, but it seems that she has nothing except for their marriage. She has to wait and see if he even listens to her. This obviously is not enough for her.
             The fact that they are the only American couple in the hotel draws attention to their nationality. So we have to ask ourselves is she really a stereotype of an American wife of the 1920s. Americans are not known as passive people, in other parts of the world they are seen as independent.

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