Cathedral

Topics: Emotion, Irony, Human / Pages: 5 (1199 words) / Published: Sep 24th, 2013
The narrator of Cathedral is many things; jealous, sarcastic, insensitive, inconsiderate, and overall just a bad person, he is also, surprisingly, a sympathetic character. While he exuberates many flaws and emotions that we do not readily show ourselves, this does not strike the fact that we can sympathise and relate to the narrator. In fact, it is the fact that he shows all of these flaws that make him a sympathetic character. The reason being is that he shows the emotions and flaws that humans, as a whole, want to show in any given situation, but choose not to out of compassion. Even though we do not react the same way the narrator would, it does not change the fact that often times we do feel like reacting in a similar manner that he would. Raymond Carver, in his short story Cathedral manages to create a character, the narrator, who is the personification of true human nature. As often as humans try to hold themselves up as a morally upright species, it cannot be denied that often times, as we react in a manner deemed appropriate in our society today, inside our heads there we want to reply in a less nice, less appropriate, and more selfish manner. For example, an exchange could go along like this; “Take out the trash.” You reply with, “Okay.” But inside, your thoughts may very well go along the lines of, “Why can you not take the trash out yourself? I do not see you working nine hours a day.” As we grow older and learn what is acceptable in society, we tend to not take heed or even notice as those kinds of thoughts flash across our minds, but that does not change the fact that we still feel that way on some level. The narrator seems to be a character who generally reacts based on these feelings. This is evident in the narrator’s reaction, through Carvers writing, when he is informed that the blind man was coming to stay with them. Rather than reacting with a false guise of comfort, he instead replies sarcastically saying, “Maybe I could take him bowling,”

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