Cathedral & Shiloh

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Cathedral & Shiloh

Analysing friction stories can lead to many conclusion by how the reader is

taking thoughts from it. In this class, we have read many stories that have focused on

many thoughts. We had stories that were focused on women's thinking, their speech and

how they deal with their beloved ones. We also had stories giving details on wars, love,

religion, and one of the most common topic - gender. The two stories being discussed in

here are Shiloh by Mason and Cathedral by Carver.

These two stories have few things in common that can be described in a way that

can tell us how the two men suffered throughout their lives on different aspects of their

lives; of their personality. Cathedral and Shiloh are narrative stories told by two husbands

who have totally different ways of living life and whose lives are figureatively at a

different peek of their lives. However, coming out of two different stories these two men's

situation is alot similar. They both have a turning point in their lives, where these two

men start thinking differently and they have major change in their personality. Another

aspect of their life is marriage and their insecurity towards their wives. Throughtout this

paper it will be more clear of how they are similar and different.

According to the husband in Cathedral, we can make assumtions that he was very

insecure with the "blind man". On the basis, of how detailed he went on talking about the

blind man and his wife's relationship throughtout years it tells us that he is little confused

about his wife and Robert's relationship. For example, the husband is describing the time

when she was working for the blind man:

She read stuff to him, case studies, reports, that sort of things. She helped

him organize his little office in the country social service department.

They'd become good friends, ....On her last day in the office, the blind man

asked if he could touch her face. She agreed to this. (314)

This shows how he was insecured with the comfort level that was between Robert and his

wife. He sounded little jealous of how they used to click together and even though all

these years past they still stayed in touch. As mentioned in the story by the husband, "The

blind man made a tape. He sent her the tape. She made a tape. This went on for years"

(Carver, 314). The insecurity that is coming out of this story is obvious and is

understandable if we think about it, where a husband has to spend time with a man whom

his wife was very close to. However, this story matches with other story called Shiloh by

Mason, Leroy (husband) feels insecurity as well.

Mason's story reflects on a marriage where a husband tries and tries very hard to

save his marriage. Leroy is recovering from his accident and trying his best to give all the

time in the world to his wife, Norma Jean, because he thinks that all these years he wasn't

there for her now is the time to make it up for all that. After his accident when he was

staying home more often he tried new different ways to make her happy and live up to her

expectations because he felt like he had to equal up to her. As author writes Leroy's

words, "As he and Norma Jean work together at the kitchen table, Leroy has the hopeful

thought that they are sharing something" (Mason, 73). This shows that he wishes to stay

with her with the way she wants him to because he is insecured about himself and is

always trying to match up to her. For example, when the author says, "She sits at the

kitchen table, concentrating on her outlines, while Leroy plays with his log house plans"

(Mason, 73).

Moreover, these two stories have another issue in common which is marriage.

Leroy's marriage was having problems when in Cathedral, the husband and his wife were

not as close as they should be. They used...
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