Raymond Carvers Cathedral Essay

955 Words 4 Pages
     As with many short stories, Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” only has a few pages to develop his main character and create a scenario he or she must learn from or achieve something from or change because of. In such a short amount of space, word choice is integral in constructing a solid impression of the characters and their personalities in the reader’s mind. Carver’s simple use of language and sentence structure combined with his choice for point of view creates an intriguing tone and believable character interaction.
     This story, written as the thoughts of the narrator, is about an old blind friend of his wife’s coming to visit for the first time. The story focuses on the
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“I’m saying that at the end of the summer she let the blind man run his hands over her face, said goodbye to him married her childhood etc., who was now a commissioned officer…”(218). Every time this officer that is his wife’s first husband comes up in the story, the narrator moves on to other subjects quickly. This reveals a jealousy in him that is not plainly written in the story. It allows the reader to learn about the narrator as he sets up the story. Because of this set up, the reader is able to expect and easily see the narrator’s jealousy as he is later introduced to the blind man. He also omits names. The reader never learns the names of the narrator or his wife, though she is frequently involved in the story. This allows the reader to focus on essential characteristics of the character. The wife is merely the wife. The blind man is blind.
     Choice of point of view can change the tone and entire meaning gained from a story. The tone of this story would have been much different if it were written from the wife’s point of view. She would not have been seen as the static nagging wife stereotype, the husband himself would have probably be viewed as unsupportive and a slacker, and the reader would have gained a better understanding of who this blind man was. However, for the sake of the story, the importance of the blind man is that he is blind. This is what is important to the narrator and this is what the
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