Analysis Of Raymond Carver 's ' Cathedral '

1006 Words5 Pages
Gabrielle Sobolewski
English 200
Professor Ruth Jennison

The short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is told from the perspective of a first-person narrator. Throughout the story, the narrator is self-absorbed in his own thoughts and emotions and fails in his willingness to overlook personal insecurities in order to accommodate others’ discomfort, i.e. predominantly his wife and the blind man. In general, the story lacks figurative language and is told in short, direct sentences. This basic structure leaves a lot for the reader to interpret on his or her own. I focused on two paragraphs within Raymond Carver’s short story. The first section is the fifth paragraph in the story beginning with “But instead of dying...” and concluding with “all I wanted to.” To make it less complicated throughout my paper, I will refer to this segment as ‘Section 1.’ The second section I used is the seventh paragraph in the short story, which begins with “Beulah had gone to work...” and ends with “Pathetic.” I will refer to this segment as ‘Section 2.’ Both of these paragraphs hold significance both in themselves alone as well as when applied together. In Section 1, the protagonist provides a subjective, narrow report of his wife’s past. Throughout his storytelling, the husband seems to lack a certain interest and empathy towards his wife’s past events. For example, when recounting his wife’s suicide attempt, the only thing he mentions is that “instead of
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