The White Cat

Her finder du vores hjælp til at analysere novellen “The White Cat” af Jim Brannon, som er en del af den skriftlige eksamen i Engelsk B på STX den 28. maj 2020. Ud over analysehjælp, får du også arbejdsspørgsmål, der hjælper dig i gang med analysen, et summary samt hjælp til tema og budskab.

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “The White Cat” (2017)
Forfatter: Jim Brannin
Genre: Novelle

James Brannin har været medforfatter på adskillige sagprosa-bøger samt udgivet noveller i litterære magasiner. “The White Cat” blev i 2017 nr. 2 i en novellekonkurence arrangeret af The Shooter Literary Magazine.

Uddrag

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Symbols

The cats are not only symbols for Hattie and her family, but symbolic signs of the change which occurs in Hattie. Perhaps it was too painful for Hattie to think about her past before, but the cats provide a harmless way to indulge in the memories. The cats being taken away is also symbolic. The loss of the cats feels to Hattie like losing Johnny and her children all over again. Ironically, this is what pushes her to action, by reminding her that, in real life, Georgie is not altogether lost to her, and she can reach out to him. 

The curtains symbolize the self-imposed barriers between Hattie and the outside world. It is interesting to note that Hattie thinks of opportunities as curtains which open and close. She also connects old age with curtains which remain closed, signaling the end of all opportunities (ll. 8-16). Seen from this perspective, her keeping the window curtains closed or opening them just a bit, points to her deliberately keeping herself away from the outside world. Hattie keeps her view narrow and denies herself opportunities by keeping the curtains shut – literally and metaphorically. 

Her decision at the end of the story to pull back her curtains all the way and keep them open points to an important development - from a passive, resigned attitude towards an active one. It is significant to point out that the curtain is personified, initially resisting Hattie’s attempt to pull it: “The curtain squeaked in complaint and eased open” (ll. 113-114). This suggests that no change comes easily. Even after one has decided to change, the mind may still put up some resistance. 

The mother’s attitude towards the cats symbolizes her attitude towards Hattie. Both are perceived as burdens, even though action is taken only in the case of the cats. After all, she cannot have her elderly aunt euthanized.

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The White Cat

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