The Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Topics: First-person narrative, Marriage, Raymond Carver Pages: 4 (1071 words) Published: January 16, 2014
CATHEDRAL by Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver, the author of Cathedral was born in Oregon in 1938. He came from a poor family. At the age of 40 he was one of the most promising writers of his generation and was also near ruin in everyway from alcoholism. He quit drinking but lung cancer took over- taking his life at the age of 50. He wrote 3 collections of stories: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”,“ Cathedral” and “Elephant”, poems and essays. He was considered a minimalist until Cathedral where he started changing his style.

Cathedral like many of Carver’s other stories portray individuals isolated from each other for a variety of reasons. In this story he creates a realistic human picture. He wants us to see the narrator’s character as figuratively blind. By the title we think the story is about a cathedral, but it is really about two man who are blind, on physically and the other psychologically. The Narrator looks at life from a very narrow-minded point of view, for example he seems to believe that the most important thing to women is being complimented on their looks: second he is unable to imagine his wife’s friend as a person, only as a blind man. The narrator does not understand that what blind people cannot see they can experience by feeling and hearing. He does not see what is underneath the skin or what is behind a face. He sees people and things at face value. In Contrast, the blind man sees things with his ears, his hands and his heart.

As the story opens the narrator gives a short background about his wife and the blind man’s relationship. We can sense his disgust and unwillingness to understand what it is like to be blind. He feels threatened by the blind man.

This story shows that you don’t have to see someone or something in order to appreciate them for who or what they are. This story does follow typical dramatic development, which helps develop the theme.

In the beginning, Carver, gives you an idea of what type of...
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