English 12: Composition I-Formal Essay 1- The Personal Essay


As we have been discussing Ernest Hemingway’s “Cat in the Rain”, we have noticed many themes in the text. This short story demonstrates problems with marriage, communication, loneliness, respect, self-worth, affection, attention, desire, and happiness to name just a few! These issues are universal; we can all relate in some way to them.


You are writing a logically developed essay based on one of the essay topics below:

Option A Write an essay the explains a time when you or someone close to you experienced a problem with any of the issues the American couple struggles with. Also discuss whether or not the American couple is happy and what you believe their future holds.

Option B Write an essay that discusses the symbolism of the cat and it’s connection to the American wife. Then, discuss what you are currently going through at this point in your life and describe a symbol that would best capture that. Be sure to thoroughly explain both the symbolism of the cat and the symbolism of your chosen object, and show why they are appropriate symbols.


  • 3 pages min, double-spaced, 12 pt font
  • Include 3-4 quotations
  • No cover page. Heading is left-hand justified: Your name, my name, class & section, due date, and on the 5th line, specify which option you chose
  • Skip a line and center your own original title
  • Be balanced in its treatment of the text and your own experiences, observations, opinions

Any questions, laura.nadel@kbcc.cuny.edu