Cat in the Rain

by

Ernest Hemingway

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The Hotel-keeper Character Analysis

A tall, old, dignified Italian man who looks after guests of the hotel in Italy where the American wife and her husband George are staying while on vacation in Italy. The American wife passes his office on the ground floor of the hotel twice when she goes in search of the cat that she had spotted from her hotel window in the bad weather. On both occasions, the hotel-keeper rises and bows to her. The hotel-keeper contrasts with the American wife’s husband, in that he seems to be much more sensitive to her wishes and desires than George. He acts out his part as consummate and attentive host by anticipating her needs, first by sending out the hotel maid with an umbrella for the wife when she goes outside in search of the cat, and at the end of the story, when he sends up the maid to the couple’s room with a cat for the wife.

The Hotel-keeper Quotes in Cat in the Rain

The Cat in the Rain quotes below are all either spoken by The Hotel-keeper or refer to The Hotel-keeper. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Cat in the Rain published in 1998.
Cat in the Rain Quotes

The wife liked [the hotel-keeper]. She liked the deadly serious way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her.

Related Characters: The American Wife, George, The Hotel-keeper
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important.

Related Characters: The American Wife, The Hotel-keeper
Related Symbols: The Cat
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoise-shell cat pressed tight against her and swung down against her body.

“Excuse me,” she said, “the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.”

Related Characters: The Maid (speaker), The American Wife, George, The Hotel-keeper
Related Symbols: The Cat
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Hotel-keeper Character Timeline in Cat in the Rain

The timeline below shows where the character The Hotel-keeper appears in Cat in the Rain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cat in the Rain
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
Tourism and War Theme Icon
When the American wife goes downstairs, she passes the hotel-keeper’s office. As the consummate host, he rises from his seat and bows down. He’s faraway,... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
As the hotel-keeper continues to stand behind his desk, the narrator communicates again to the reader that the... (full context)
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...out, telling her that she must not get wet. The American wife conjectures that the hotel-keeper has sent her. (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...stays behind to close the umbrella. Meanwhile, the American wife passes the office again. The hotel-keeper again bows from his desk. Something feels “very small and tight” in the American wife,... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
Tourism and War Theme Icon
...holding a large tortoise-shell cat in her hands. She politely states that the “padrone” (the hotel-keeper) has sent her up with a cat for the “Signora.” (full context)