Essay on Analysis Of Raymond Carver 's ' Cathedral '

1090 Words Aug 1st, 2016 5 Pages
Raymond Carver is known for writing minimal fiction; a style of writing popularized in the 1980s and heavily criticized for using new techniques. Carver’s writings are heavily influenced by his own life of alcoholism and abuse. When speaking on his past alcoholism Carver said, “It 's very painful to think about some of the things that happened back then. I made a wasteland out of everything I touched. But I might add that towards the end of the drinking there wasn 't much left anyway” (Messer 1) He uses his dark ingenious writing style used to captivate the reader. In his prolific short story, “Cathedral” Carver depicts the difference between looking and seeing. The narrator accounts previous sensory experiences; this is normal in Impressionistic pieces. However, like many Minimalist protagonists, the narrator is incapable of articulating the importance of what he describes. There are numerous ways to interpret what Carver means in the text, and it is important to examine each concept. Throughout “Cathedral,” “looking” is interpreted as actual physical vision, but “seeing” involves deep mental engagement. The narrator, his wife, and Robert find understanding and significance in their life through different forms of art; including poetry, drawing, and storytelling. The true theme of the “Cathedral,” is alcoholism and the ability to “see” on another plane, the narrator does not approach the theme of alcoholism directly: the narrator explains nothing but shows…

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