Topics: Fiction, Marriage, Anton Chekhov Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: March 24, 2014

Characters’ eyes are opened and prejudices are contradicted in the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver. In this story, the narrator, who is blinded by prejudice, is drastically changed when a blind man Robert opens the narrator’s eyes to understanding the deeper meaning of the world around him. Although the main climax of the narrative occurs towards the end of the story when the narrator and Robert draws a cathedral together, there are many smaller climaxes in which different characters are drastically changed. “Cathedral” is an excellent short story that illustrates how good story telling is derived from delineating the process of personal reform. Although several characters in the story undergo inner-self change, the story primarily focuses on the narrator and the way Robert changes the narrator’s perspective about the world and himself. In the beginning of the story, Carver illustrates the narrator’s personality of insecurity, cruelty, and prejudice. When the narrator describes his wife’s first husband “Her officer why should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, and what more does he want?” (pg. 358) The reader senses some insecurity about his marriage and jealousy over her first husband. Furthermore, considering this first marriage for the narrator’s wife ended with her attempting to commit suicide, the narrator is surprisingly nonchalant when discussing it. When his wife attempts to kill herself, this small climax is an important part in helping the reader to understand the relationship between the three characters. It is clear to see that Robert is her confidant—not her husband. This only adds to the hostility the narrator feels towards Robert. The narrator’s blindness towards the outside world and in his own life is illustrated best in his judgment about Robert’s and Beulah’s marriage. Although the narrator states that he feels sorry for Beulah, the narrator also displays a cold edge toward the couple when he pokes fun at his...
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