This relationship is examined closely in two short stories. The stories, Cat in The Rain, and Hills Like White Elephants, both show a man and a woman in what seems to be a quiet and passive moment. However in both stories, Hemingway carefully uses imagery and subtlety to convey to the reader that the relationship in the story is flawed, and is quite clearly dysfunctional. Both male characters in each story clearly have trouble understanding their women, and it is this inability to see them and what they want that Hemingway is addressing and criticizng. What, in both works, appears to be a quite and passive moment, is in reality a pivotal point in each relationship, and neither man seems to realize it.
For example, Cat In The Rain tells what seems to be a simple tale of an American couple spending a rainy afternoon inside their hotel room. This simple set up serves as a great metaphor for what appears to be the couples relationship. Outside it’s ugly and gray. And nothing is going on inside. Form the begging, we can see that their is a well established rift in the relationship between George and his unnamed wife. The woman sees a cat standing in the rain, and tells her husband (who is being non communicative and sits aside reading, the whole time) “I’m going down and get that kitty”(129). Hemingway writes the response of the Husband as ‘”I’ll do it”, her husband offered from the bed”(129). The fact that George seems so detached, and makes no effort in even getting up clearly shows us that his “offer” her means nothing. He is simply going through a mechanical motion of seeming to listen and care, with out even bothering …
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…tle bit of light she needs.
In conclusion, neither of these stories really gives any hope to their respective relationships. It seems that both cases feature men who have long already ignored and under appreciated their loved ones, and have hurt them and not even seen that hurt. Hemingway seems to be telling us that they key to keep relating is to not only listen, but listen with intent. Both the women in these stories are sad, hurt and lonely. Those are traits Hemingway seems to have written about numerous times, but they come across beautifully in these tales that at first seem small and insignificant, but truly do offer a snapshot into the emotions of it’s characters, and into ours as well.
The Complete Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway. The Fianca Vigia Edition. Scribner Paperback Fiction. Published By Simon and Schuster. New York, NY.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby – Conflicting Ideals
Conflicting Ideals in The Great Gatsby
Throughout the world, societies can become cruel and unjustified machines. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the morality of a society is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences its characters experience. The two societies within the novel, West Egg and East Egg, create an atmosphere of mixed ideals and morals, so completely opposite of each other. Three examples will be given to support the above thesis. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, arguably the main character, is involved in a number of criminal activities. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of their society are revealed through their actions. Finally Nick Carraway, the narrator, is truly and innocent in a society gone mad. These three points will be elaborated below.
Firstly, Jay Gatsby, formerly known as Jay Gatz, is a figure of the the corruption of the American Dream. He is an illegal bootlegger, an acquaintance of gamblers and con artists. His activities are constantly denounced by Tom Buchanan throughout the novel. His criminal activies reveal the morality of yesteryears society. His lavish and extravagant parties are another symbol of the morality of his society. Early in the evening, people are happy, dancing the night away, and are generally having a good time. But, the facade of the party quickly departs, and the true nature of these events are revealed. People get drunk, douse themselves in the pool to sober up, spouses fight and bicker over nonsequential items. And when all of this is over, the floor is covered with orange rings, spilled cocktails, along with other party nostalgia. All of this is a setup, so that Gatsby can get Daisy’s at…
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…saddened by the coldness of the people who do not care unwillingly to the funeral. Out of all the people who attend the parties, four join the funeral. So, the choices and consequences of Nick’s experience clearly define the morality of the two societies.
To sum things up, the morals of a society are revealed by the actions of its inhabitants. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, is involved in a number of criminal activities, and is the father-figure of the corruption of the American Dream. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of the East Egg society are revealed by their actions. Finally, Nick Carraway, is truly an innocent in a myriad of scheming, cheating con artists. Therefore, their unjustified beliefs truly define the morality of a society which is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences of its characters from within.