Raymond Carver's Cathedral: A Place Of Communion?

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Cathedral. A Place of Communion? “The men who began their life’s work on [cathedrals], they never lived to see the completion of their work. In that wise, bub, they’re no different from the rest of us, right?”(paragraph 96). In the short story Cathedral, written by Raymond Carver, a blind man, a friend of the narrator’s wife comes and stays with them overnight. In this visit, the narrator is able to overcome his own blindness and open his eyes to a new view. It is shown that it is in a character’s personality that a story’s action comes about and the plot is developed. Carver uses the characterization of the narrator in this story to give conflict and resolution as well as bringing about the idea that “they’re no different from the rest…show more content…
as the two men sit listening. Carver wanted to show that the narrator is trying to conceal his thoughts and feelings at this point of time from Robert. He thinks that keeping to himself will mask his true identity from this blind man. Another symbol of something that appears on the T.V. is cathedrals. A cathedral is a place of communion. In this particular story, the cathedrals symbolize the communion between the two. At the beginning of their discussion of cathedrals, the narrator admits, “[t]he truth is, cathedrals don’t mean anything special to me. Nothing. Cathedrals. They’re something to look at on late-night T.V. That’s all they are”(109). This quote goes to show clearly the “before” of the narrator’s characterization development. In cathedrals, there often are stained glass windows, reflecting the light from the outside. The beauty of the colorful lights, only seen through eyes, cannot be felt. The blind man had to learn how to see beauties without his eyes. While he had mastered this, the narrator had a difficult time learning how to do it. When he finally gets it, he has an epiphany and realizes that “[i]t’s really something”(136). Another reason why the cathedral is a symbol is because it is a place of communion. When Robert and the narrator drew the picture together, touching hands, and placing themselves in each other’s shoes, they shared a bond. A
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