Time and physical setting
The short story “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1925. The short story is probably meant to be read as contemporary to the time when it was written. The war monument in front of the hotel, which is frequently visited by Italians, suggests that the events take place shortly after World War I. The woman’s short haircut also suggests the story is set in the 1920s, as this haircut was fashionable at the time. Moreover, the story is reportedly inspired by Hemingway’s own visit to Italy together with his first wife, in 1923.
The main physical setting is the Italian hotel where the couple is staying, which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The opening of the story describes the physical setting in detail: “Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green benches in the public garden.” The hotel is just one of the few in the area, suggesting that the place is popular among tourists: “Artists liked the way the palms grew and the bright colours of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea.”
The events take place during a rainy day, and the setting suggests a fe...