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Questions raised by “The Science of Storytelling” and Hemingway’s Short Stories

Considering Storr’s use of the question “Who am I?” in relationship to “Cat in the Rain” and “Hills Like White Elephants”

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

This post doesn’t come to any conclusions and is only here to consider some thoughts and questions.

While looking at MICE and Will Storr’s The Science of Storytelling, I thought about Hemingway’s short stories “Cat in the Rain” and Hills like White Elephants.”

I found clarification when I used Storr’s statement, “Who am I?”

For example, using it with “Cat in the Rain” brings out the central conflict. Does the woman want to continue being a traveller, or does she want a home with a cat (and possibly a baby)?

Also, I’ve often thought of the innkeeper as a friendly person to the woman. However, if she sees herself as a traveller, does he make her feel good because he treats her well as a customer and small because she feels the distance from having a place of her own?

Also, he is kind because he gives her the cat, but this doesn’t truly fulfill her actual need. Does this make her want a home more?

This exploration also makes me realize how much this story and “Hills Like White Elephants” are stories about status. Who has it? Who gains it? And who loses it?

The question of “Who am I?” “Hills Like White Elephants,” is similar to “Cat in the Rain.”

Does she want to travel? Does she want to have the baby? Can she not have both? In her mind, they can, but the man thinks differently. And if she gives up the child, will they return to normal?

One last thing raised is how the question of “Who am I?” in a relationship story also gets tied up in the question of “Who are we?”

How often do those two questions get asked in relationship dramas or romances? And does this question change when written by different authors?


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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