Some people may view the wife as being spoiled and immature because she complains about not having the things she begs for. This type of behavior does not define her personality. She wants to visualize herself as becoming a true woman and to go through this, she tries to lure people’s attention and searches for the love she needs, making her want a lot of things. However, the wife felt that she wasn’t excepted as a woman in the society and that’s why she felt unhappy and dissatisfied.
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story, Cat in the Rain, the wife deserves to be treated better as a woman because her marriage lacks intimacy, she is treated poorly, and her femininity is ignored. The unhappiness and dissatisfaction she experiences during her life, stops her from feeling like this. It can easily be identified that the wife’s marriage is in a bad condition because she has an unaffectionate husband. Her husband is more interested in reading his book rather than worrying about what she is trying to say. The wife says, “I don’t know why I wanted it so much.
I wanted the poor kitty. It isn’t fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain”(Hemingway 686). Then it is shown that “George was reading again”(Hemingway 686). This obviously indicates the emotional separation her husband has against her because he is ignoring the problems she is having. The wife wants attention by complaining and she wants her husband to care. But he shows no involvement about the situation when she is doing this. The wife’s affection for the hotel keeper along indicates how bad the marriage is. Hemingway clearly shows this when he says, “She liked the hotel keeper”(685).
Hemingway also says, “She liked the way he wanted to serve her”(685). This shows how happy the wife feels when the hotel keeper is giving her attention. The husband isn’t focused about how the marriage is going. If he really cared about it, he would have paid more attention to his wife rather than a book. It certainly isn’t the wife’s fault for the bad marriage and this causes her to be unhappy. Although the husband wasn’t showing any care, the wife does refuses her husband’s help when he offers to get the cat for her. The usband says nicely,”Ill do it”(Hemingway 685), but then the wife says,”No Ill get it”(Hemingway 685). At this point, her husband does give her some attention. The wife is treated badly by the husband who talks down to her as if she is unworthy. The husband says, “Oh shut up and get something to read”(Hemingway 686). This absolutely shows the level of dominance he has over her because it indicates how demanding he is sounding. He is telling her to do something in a very disrespectful manner. At this point, the wife feels that all the respect her husband has is gone because she is treated badly.
Even though the wife is disrespected, she deserves it because she continually tells her husband what she wants, and he is being annoyed. Like when she says, “I want a cat. I want I cat now” (Hemingway 686), shows how desperately she wants the cat. Then the wife goes on and says “And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles”(Hemingway 686). She keeps wanting these things, but she doesn’t ask for it in the proper manner. If the wife wasn’t so greedy the husband would have given her the things she wants. The wife tries to make herself look like a woman, but her appearance doesn’t show it.
It is shown that the wife feels unsatisfied about the way she looks when she says, “I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel” (Hemingway 686). She wants her hair to remind her of her feminine side. When the wife says, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out”(Hemingway 686); it signifies that her physical appearance is more male like because she doesn’t have long hair. The husband ignore’s the way she looks when he says, ” I like it the way it is”(Hemingway 686), after the wife asks if she should grow her hair.
He is not interested about her looking more feminine. All the wife wants to do is to capture people’s attention by looking beautiful. Even though her husband rarely says anything about the way she looks, he does recognize some beauty that she have when he says, “You look pretty darn nice” (Hemingway 686), after his wife tells him, “Do you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out? “(Hemingway 686). The compliment he gives shows that he has some care about the way she looks, regardless of her looking less like a woman, and to him she is already beautiful.
The issues that the wife experiences throughout her life makes her sad and displeased. It isn’t her fault trying to become something that she is supposed to be recognized as. Her marriage is bad because the relationship with her husband is poor. The husband gives no attention towards her, which indeed shows how very little love he has for her. To him, reading was more important than she was, and in fact, he shows no interest in her urgent need to have a cat. The wife is also disrespected by her husband for wanting the cat, showing that she doesn’t have the right to say what she wants.
Also, the wife tries really hard to make herself look like a woman so she can impress people because she didn’t feel comfortable about the way she looked. But she is ignored about her looks. This is why the wife needs to be treated better because, she doesn’t have a romantic marriage, she is not talked to in a very well manner, and her looks are ignored even when she is trying to become beautiful like a woman. Women want love, respect, and attention and that is what the wife tries to gain in order for her to be treated properly as a woman.