Persuasive Essay

804 Words Apr 2nd, 2011 4 Pages
Persuasive Essay In 1983, Raymond Carver introduced his short story “Cathedral” to the public. The first-person narrative takes place within the narrator’s home, where his wife is waiting upon the arrival of her blind friend Robert. The narrator, however, becomes more concerned about how Robert’s visit will affect him rather than enjoy the situation. Once Robert arrives, the narrator tries to understand the blind man, but he is unaware of what tasks Robert is capable of performing due to the narrator’s inability to “see”. In time, Robert shows the narrator the difference between looking and seeing through illustrations of a cathedral, drawn by the narrator with his eyes closed. “Cathedral’s” narrator exposes readers to anti-heroic views …show more content…
Evidence of the narrator’s anti-heroic attributes provides readers with symbols specifically supporting the protagonist’s views. A frequent symbol throughout the story is the act of drinking alcohol. The characters drink constant and often, which symbolizes alcohol problems; furthermore, Carver, himself, struggled with alcoholism during his life. The creation of “Cathedral” signified a major success in Carver’s life; his battle against alcoholism was conquered and Carver salvaged his life back together. As Robert settles in at the narrator’s home, the narrator says, “Let me get you a drink. What’s your pleasure? We have a little of everything. It’s one of our pastimes.” (p.85). The offering informs readers about a possible alcohol problem from the statement “It’s one of our pastimes”. The narrator, in comparison, drinks heavily; yet with the progression of the story, the narrator’s tone simply converts to a dreamy manner softening the mood from the abundance of alcohol. Another, more prominent symbol in the story is the cathedral drawing. The drawing with Robert symbolizes the ability to see beyond appearance and find the true underlying meaning within. The narrator eventually accomplishes the goal of seeing beyond the ordinary, but in effort to recognize this ability, the narrator reverts to his original ways of looking. When Robert asks the

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