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Response paper - Essay Example

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The story is pertinent because it showcases the women’s desire to act as they want and not as what is expected of them by the husband or the…
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Cat in the rain’ by Hemingway is a sensitive portrayal of women’s status in society and how male dominance restricts their freedom. The story is pertinent because it showcases the women’s desire to act as they want and not as what is expected of them by the husband or the society at large. Gender roles and gender specific expectations and issues have long been developed by patriarchal society to maintain a control over them. Indeed, the interests of women have also been issues that were dependent on the male members of the family. Hemingway’s story highlights the women’s desire to be free so that she can enjoy doing things that make her happy and not that satisfy male members or husband. Cat therefore, symbolizes women’s status that at all times strives to conform to the demands of their husband.
‘It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain’ reflects the way of woman’s life who is constantly under the vigil of her husband. The protagonist in the story is first addressed as ‘American wife’ and then as ‘American girl’ that subtly defines the difference between a married girl and girl who can pursue their happiness as they deem within the broader framework of patriarchal society. Married women are denied the basic right for self expression and empowerment of women and have to restrict themselves within the expected behavior as decided by their husband. Indeed, social conditioning significantly impacts marital bond and makes women rebel against the restrictions that make the unequal and less worthy of their counterparts.
(words: 261)
On the other hand, Hemingway in the story, ‘Hills like White Elephants’ shows human frailty and confused state when confronted with issues that are socially unacceptable. The author has touched the issue of abortion and describes the vacillating views of the two individuals who are trying to justify the decision for abortion. Abortion is highly sensitive issue within the society and refers to deliberate termination of fetus. It has huge moral, religious and legal implications which make it almost a taboo subject. The author’s foray into the subject is highly abstract and touches the subject in various ways to display the personal fear, social stigma and future hope. The inter-related consequences of abortion have wide ramifications and as such, make the decision as most critical aspect of the deed.
The characters talk around the subject of abortion and the story slowly reflects how the woman succumbs to the desires of her partner and says ‘Then Ill do it. Because I dont care about me’. The poignant way the girl agrees to it shows that the social pressure, especially one from her lover is intense. The similarity of hills with that of white elephant is inane and describes the confusion of the woman. The conversation, though abstract, nevertheless reveals lack of knowledge about the procedure and assures that ‘Well be fine afterward. Just like we were before’. It is interesting the way Hemingway has raised the issue of abortion in a story which never even mentions the word but is able to translate the emotions of the two young people for whom abortion symbolizes fresh start and happiness.
(words: 267)
Reference
Hemingway, Earnest. Cat in the Rain. 1925. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/english/Hemingway.pdf
Hemingway, Earnest. Hills like White elephants. NY: Norton, 1990. Read More
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