Minimalism is a style of writing where the author presents a plot in brevity with few details and allows the reader to draw his or her conclusions. Few noteworthy characteristics of minimalistic fiction include use of plain language, short and simple sentences, symbolism, objective viewpoint, omission of character description, and unresolved main conflict. Well-known American writer, Ernest Hemingway, in his short story “Cat in the Rain” employs this minimalistic aesthetics effectively to achieve the theme of loneliness along with the notions such as nihilism and the lack of resolution.The use of short, simple sentences, mostly without descriptive language, is a distinctive element of minimalism which helps to emphasize the theme of loneliness in the story. The basic qualities of minimalism like not using adjectives or adverb to color the noun and verb transcend a lonesome feeling. “She went on up the stairs. She opened the door of the room. George was on the bed, reading” (Hemingway 534). This excerpt shows the brevity of Hemingway’s writing and the lack of detailed description. Similar to the bare sentences and bleak language, the protagonist also lacks happiness and joy in her life adding to the theme of loneliness. Furthermore, it must be noted that by using simple sentences, Hemingway seems to make most impact. Throughout the story, Hemingway constantly reminds one that the American “wife was looking out of the window” (Hemingway 535). Constant repetition of this simple sentence has a poignant effect. When contrasted with the busy routine of the square, this sentence creates an image that the protagonist is confined. Even though she is physically not restrained to go outside, it sheds light upon the notion that she feels li…
…the figurative language compounded with the use of symbolism cleverly conveys the theme of loneliness. The cat not only symbolizes the protagonist’s domestic desires due to her solitary life, but also channels protagonist’s emotional turmoil as she feels unloved and dissatisfied with her marriage. The cat is meant to fill the American wife’s void and emptiness which accentuates the lonely ambience. On other hand, third person objective narrator and lack of character information creates the nihilistic perspective. While not being able solve the deep conflicts, Hemingway does not really have a resolution. Overall, these minimalistic techniques are very effective and make the short story more intriguing.?
Hemingway, Ernest. “Cat in the Rain.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. 533-35. Print.