Women In Ernest Hemingway's Cat In The Rain And Hills Like White Elephants

1096 Words5 Pages
“Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors,” -Evelyn Cunningham. During the early 20th century, society’s expectations of women were tremendously different than how they are currently in the 21st century. Women were expected to be submissive to the men around them and had to listen, obey, and serve them. Prominent examples were represented in Ernest Hemingway’s stories, “Cat in the Rain” and “Hills like White Elephants.” Both of the well-known short stories were written in the 1920s and depict the mistreatment of women. Hemingway wrote, “Cat in the Rain” and “Hills like White Elephants” which characterized and represented women as silent, submissive victims who were oppressed…show more content…
Her husband responded with, “I like it the way it is” (Hemingway). The woman distinctly professed she was tired of her looking like a boy. He clearly did not care about how comfortable his wife was in her own skin. He only wanted to keep himself pleased, instead of considering his wife’s feelings. The dialogue demonstrated the lack of control the woman had, not just over her own hair, but over their relationship. George wanted to control her life and she obliged, which revealed how submissive she was required to…show more content…
As the plot unraveled, it became evident the main character, Jig, was pregnant, but her significant other, the American man, wanted to persuade her to have an abortion. The man first mentioned the abortion when he stated, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It’s not really an operation at all” (Hemingway). Jig did not respond, therefore the man continued to persuade her to get an abortion by oversimplifying the operation. She questioned what they would do post-abortion, so he explained that they would be happy, just like the couples they knew. The man put on a facade about how he wanted Jig to be happy and make the decision herself, yet he continually tried to convince her to have the abortion. Undoubtedly, the man did not want to take any responsibility for their relationship and the baby, and wanted the easy way out. He did not respect her view on the subject, therefore he forced the idea that the abortion would be their best option. Since Jig was submissive and dependent, she agreed, “Oh, yes. But I don’t care about me. And I’ll do it and then everything will be fine” (Hemingway). She was not concerned about herself or whether she would be happy; her interest was in the man and whether he would continue to love her. If Jig had voiced her opinion by actually discussing the matter with the man, he would have silenced her thoughts and convince
Open Document