An Analysis of Cathedral Essay

828 Words May 6th, 2011 4 Pages
An Analysis of Cathedral
Cathedral, written by Raymond Carver, is a short story that explores the narrator’s insecurities and fears of what he does not understand and through the progression of the story is enlightened by the man he fears.
The short story Cathedral is a story of the narrators’ wife’s old friend coming to visit. The friend, Robert, is a man that she knew ten years before and has kept in contact with since. The two correspond via tape recordings on a regular basis. The wife tells Robert of all goings on in her life and Robert responds in kind. Robert’s wife has died and he will be close enough to come and visit his old friend.
Cathedral is written in the first person and is narrated by the husband character. The
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And then this: “From all you’ve said about him, I can only conclude-” But we were interrupted, a knock at the door, something, and we didn’t get back to the tape. Maybe it was just as well. I’d heard all I wanted to.

The narrator describes several preconceived notions he had about the blind such as dark sunglasses, canes, and not smoking. The character Robert did not carry a cane or where dark glasses and he did smoke. The narrator is seeing that Robert is a man who merely can not see with his eyes and that the blind are nothing to be afraid of.
As the evening progressed there were several alcoholic beverages consumed and the wife fell asleep leaving the two men to converse alone. The television was on and a program about cathedrals was being broadcast. The conversation turned to the narrator trying to verbally describe a cathedral to Robert. Upon Robert’s request, paper and pen were gathered to draw a cathedral. The two men hunkered on the floor together holding a pen, and drew a cathedral. The narrator drew as Robert’s hand rode along feeling the lines and shapes. Robert then instructed the narrator to close his eyes and they continued drawing. When asked to open his eyes and see the creation, Carver (1983) writes But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do. “Well?” he said. “Are you looking?”

My eyes were still closed. I was in my

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