Raymond Carver Cathedral Analysis

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The Narrator’s Misjudgement In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”, the short story takes place in the post-modern era where drug use, praise of the military, and racial prejudice are prominent in society. Carver portrays these attitudes through the development and conflict between his characters. Accordingly, the narrator/protagonist, who is not given a name, is depicted as a closed-minded, racist, and stubborn man and displays his beliefs through his actions towards the antagonist, Robert. As a round character in the story, the narrator develops tolerance and learns to stray away from the initial impressions he makes about people. Through the depiction of his characters, Carver utilizes the narrator as a character representing how the war took a toll on society and expresses the commonality of misjudging others during this time. At the start of the story, Carver begins by informing the reader of the hostility the narrator holds for the character, Robert. He initially shows the preexisting beliefs the narrator has for the blind man, as stated in Carver’s “Cathedral”, “And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies.” (32). The narrator has developed judgements upon other people based on their conditions, and physical appearances, and opinions of others, which “is salient in Carver’s writing because characters are typically minimally described”(1), according to Sara Kornfeld Simpson’s “Alcohol, Emotion, and Tension in Raymond Carver’s Fiction”. The assumptions Carver illustrates for the narrator are derived from ignorance and close mindedness he demonstrates towards the antagonist, Robert and the narrator’s wife. In addition, the narrator is described as being envious of the blind man and his wife’s past and current relations and communication with each other. Carver makes clear of how the contrasting personalities between the protagonist and antagonist are in regard for their fight for the love of the same woman, which alludes to an external conflict. Therefore, the narrator’s mistreatment towards the antagonist roots from insensitivity towards his blindness and his insecurity regarding his relationship with his wife. After moving in with the narrator and his wife, Carver shows the
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