What Is The Theme Of Cathedral By Raymond Carver

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Raymond Carver is said to be one the most influential American writers and poets in the 20th century, especially in his works of short stories. One of his most famous pieces is “Cathedral.” This well-known short story is the final piece in Carver’s collection Cathedral published in 1983. Carver includes much symbolism through the story’s plot, structure, point of view, tone, and character build. The depictions of each character’s experiences, the irony in the story, and hearing the narrator’s point of view in “Cathedral” work in harmony to support its themes that prejudice and ignorance as well as the nature of reality are present and change throughout the course of the story, and all lead to a strong character development by the close.…show more content…
Robert’s wife has recently died and he used to work for the narrator’s wife. Robert comes to visit the narrator’s home and the narrator is not happy about this because he believes blind people to be miserable and gloomy based solely on what he has absorbed from the movies. At the end of the first paragraph, he says, “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (1.1). Little to the narrator’s knowledge, his wife and Robert had been using audio tape to correspond over ten years, and have much past history with each other. The narrator’s wife makes sure he knows to make Robert comfortable, and if he doesn’t it shows that he does not love her. “If you love me, she said, you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay” (1.7). After dinner and drinks, the narrator’s wife goes upstairs to change, while her husband starts smoking marijuana. Robert joins along for the first time. As the night comes to a close, all three of the characters are sitting on the couch watching television, specifically a documentary on Cathedrals. The narrator curiously asks Robert if he knew how to describe a Cathedral. Unsure, Robert tells him to draw one for him so he can better understand. The narrator puts Robert’s hand on his so that he can feel the motion of him drawing. “He found my hand, the hand with the pen. He closed his hand over mine” (3.30). This very moment is crucial in the story. This shows a shared connection between the two characters, a type of connection that the narrator has never felt with anyone before, one that he is not used to. This also shows a paradox because of the fact that he must close his eyes to be able to

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