Ernest Hemingway’s “Cat in the Rain” and “Hills Like White Elephants” describe a theme of difference between husband’s desires and wife’s desires. Both stories have the same conflict about an inconsiderate husband who always ignores his wife’s desire. The husband is not a family man.
He indirectly shows that he doesn’t enjoy being with his wife and children. The male characters of Ernest Hemingway emerge as having similarities in their characters and their attitudes with their wives. For the first similarity, both husbands are identical to their inconsiderate characters. The husbands lack of attention to their wife.
The American husband, George, in “Cat in the Rain” is an unresponsive person. He always takes more interest in his books than his wife. In the end of the story, the man doesn’t listen to his wife and keeps reading his book.
His wife expresses many desires, for example, she wants a cat which has a symbol of a child and wants to eat at the table with silver spoon and candle that means she want to be a house wife. George doesn’t pay attention what his wife wants. For example, when the woman wants to grow out her hair, which symbolizes femininity, he responds, “I think you look pretty darn nice.”
He directly speaks to her in an irritated way. “Shut up and get something to read”, George says when she wants the cat in the rain. Similar to George, the American husband, in “Hills Like White Elephants”, is insensitive to his wife and his baby. He says that “it’s just to let the air in. ” His speech hints that he doesn’t want to have a baby.
The American husband wants his wife to abort because he thinks that the unborn baby is a big obstacle for the couple’s happiness. The American husband gives his wife a cold look and doesn’t care about whatever his wife wants or talks.
Furthermore, both the male characters lack fatherhood. While George ignores to have a baby, the American husband hints at his wife to have an abortion. The second resemblance of two male characters is that they have the same attitudes of married life towards their wives.
The two husbands don’t want to settle down and don’t want to start to have a quitter way of life. In “Hills Like White Elephants”, the American husband indirectly doesn’t want to live in one place while his wife wishes to have a warm family and a child.
Because of different married attitudes, their marriage’s life leads to future separation. In “Hills Like White Elephant”, the American husband “waits reasonably” for the train, which suggests us that the couple maybe brake up and go separate way.
George and the American husband can’t get along with their wife. Although they don’t make a terrible quarrel, they are dissatisfied and will break up with each other someday. Moreover, their relationship is about lack of freedom of the woman’s desires. In “Cat in the Rain”, George hardly listen to his wife and doesn’t care for her materialistic wants.
Because he doesn’t want her to get what she wants, he probably thinks that he is the leader of their relationship and has more power than his wife. To resemble in “Hills Like White Elephant”, we obviously notice that the American husband tries to control his wife by hinting her to abort.
The American husband may thinks that he can control anything. He also acts as if he is more knowledgeable and worldly than his wife. The similarities of the male characters in Ernest Hemingway’s fictions, the writer wants to show us about disagreement of the couple’s desires. Two male characters, George and the American husband, are unfeeling to their wife.
They virtually don’t concern whatever their wives’ urge and want. Although two females indirectly express their desires that they want to have a baby, two husbands always pay no attention to their wife’s need.
The men also has no the state of being a father, especially the American husband who circuitously tells his wife to have an abortion. Furthermore, two husbands have a rough relationship with their wife. The couple’s relationship shows us that they are about to separate because they are contrary to each other’s need. The husbands also try to decrease freedom of their wife by controlling their wife what they want her to do and to be.