In today's society, people have the assumptions that we have evolved far beyond past cultural notions and marital stereotypes. The reality to this is that we are not so superior and tend to take the easy way out in relationships. This is reflected through our atrocious divorce rate. The American wife in Ernest Hemingway's 'Cat in the Rain,' although controlled by her husband, George, is an obvious victim of marital neglect. While vacationing in Italy, the romance capital of the world, George's use of control and carelessness cause the wife to focus on a stray cat for fulfillment.
Although the couple is on a romantic vacation, George proceeds to neglect his wife. This is evident not only in his mannerisms but also in his lack of involvement in her want for the cat. When the wife says that she wants to go get the cat, George makes a poor attempt at offering to help. Unmoving and still laying in his same position on the bed, he remains focused on his book, and offers a half-hearted ?I?ll get it?(533). Since she is not looked after by her husband, she takes comfort in the fact that the innkeeper takes a liking to her and a concern to her well-being. By offering her an umbrella and his assistance ?the pardone made her feel very small and at the same time very important. She had a momentary feeling of supreme importance? (534). Often times women who are neglected need to seek outside attention, whether negative or positive. The fact that the pardone gave the American wife this feeling of importance reflects the lack of attention or even affection she receives from George. On the other hand, she can be like most women who are, in fact, attention whores. These are the typ...
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...ugh attention from who she most certainly should be receiving it from, her own husband. It is almost like she looks to him for the protection and care her husband cannot provide. This goes back to the immaturity issue, like she needs to be rescued or something, or maybe even seeking a father figure. The whole idea that she wants to rescue the cat from the rain reflects her own desire to be rescued. On her way to do so, the pardone happens to be there to help, or offer assistance and make her important.
In conclusion, I think that although the American wife does possess traits which make her spoiled, and even immature, she is definitely a victim of neglect.
Hemingway, Ernest. ?Cat in the Rain.? The Practical Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 8th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, Marcia Stubbs, Pat Bellanca. New York: Longman, 2000. 407-10.
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