April 8th, 2014
ENG 120 - Dupcak
Essay #2 Revised
Symbolism is an object, reference, or emotion that is especially used in literature to provide a meaning beyond what essentially is being shown. Specific and unique symbols presented in both “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver and “The Slough” by Pasha Malla are used to represent something other than itself. Specifically in “Cathedral” the two most obvious symbols are the audiotapes and the cathedral. In “The Slough” the skin is a symbol that is used to represent the couples relationship. Not only do the symbols represent something other than their selves but they are also exemplified throughout the story as they change and affect the characters within it.
In “Cathedral”, the cathedral and the audiotapes symbolize several different ideas. In the story, the husband draws the cathedral with Robert, a blind man. As a symbol, the cathedral helps to expose an internal change within the husband. Throughout the story we learn that the woman, who has a close connection with the blind man, makes the narrator feel uncomfortable and unconnected with her. He believes that there is a part of their relationship missing. Also, when the narrator closes his eyes and draws the cathedral with Robert, he finally can understand the strong relationship that his wife and Robert have. Not only does he come to that realization, but he also feels a close link with Robert. At first Carver states, “I stared hard at he shot of the cathedral on the TV. How could I even begin to describe it?” The narrator is staring right at the cathedral but he still cannot find the words to describe it, which relates to the idea of looking but not truly seeing or understanding what is actually there. A cathedral is a place for an individual to worship and find oneself beyond what can physically be seen. Likewise, the narrator’s drawing of the cathedral opened up a gateway that allowed him to search deeper in his own life and see...
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