Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Critical Analysis of Carver’s Story, “Cathedral” Introduction Raymond Carver’s Cathedral’s literary excellence lies in its ingenue approach to the presentation of the theme and the ingenuity of the narration. Ironical simplicity in all the setting, plot, characterization, narration, diction, sentence pattern, composition, etc makes the story greatly palatable for the readers while it tantalizes them to brood over the underlying theme, that is, the crisis of modern individualism…
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Indeed “blindness and sight” is embedded within both the structure and the content of the story. The author essentially propounds that, though blessed with eyesight; the crust of individualism does not let modern man see what lies beneath the surface or appearance. Indeed Carver’s narrator is one of those commoners who never want to go through the stress to interpret mindfully what they are attached to. Ingenue Simplicity in the story’s Plot Indeed the plot of Carver’s story is ironically simple. It is endowed with a great fluidity of expression that enables the readers to read the story palatably. Apparently it details a homely dialogue between a narrator and his guest Richard, a blind man who is paying visit to Richard’s house. Like any other homely conversation the story’s plot also continues having no apparent predestined goal. But elements like the blind guest’s success in bonding a relationship, in opposition the narrator’s failure, etc make this apparent simplicity ironical and provoke Carver’s readers to delve deep in what lies beneath the surface level of the story. Regarding the ironical simplicity of the story, Carol Simpson Stern says that like other stories of Carver, the Cathedral’s plot is “about people who work mindlessly, drink, have broken marriages, and take in life, not directly, but through an immersion in mediated images” (1). Indeed the ‘blindness’ of the narrator has been used as an irony in the structure of the whole story. The narrator relates the story in his own way that provides the readers with the opportunities to look into the communicational incapability in his character. Analysis of Major characters All the two major characters of the “Cathedral” are those who do not stand alone in the society; rather they are submerged in the society and fraught with all the characteristics of a modern man. In the story, the unnamed narrator, the only developing character, is self-doubting, introvert, and self-absorbed. At the beginning of the story, he lacks communication skills. But as the story progresses, he, breaking his comfort zone of “nonchalant detachment”, gradually learns to decode the unfathomable meaning of the blind man’s long-lasting relationship with his wife and eventually forges a true connection with him. One of the stories’ themes is to unearth and uphold the root cause of modern man’s failure to forge a successful relationship and to perceive what lies beneath the materialistic existence, coming out the crust of individualism induced by materialism. This theme has prudently been applied in the literary relationship that exists among the three characters of the blind man, Robert and Robert’s wife who are the characters in focus. These three characters uphold the three themes of religion, public relations and composition. The author cautiously and sensibly engages these characters to explicate and, at the same time, explain the theme. Internal and External Conflicts in the Story In the story the narrator is in conflict with his blind guest Richard. He is quite annoyed at the blind man’s visit and a bit jealous of his relation (Richard’
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This is accomplished throughout the course of an evening, and culminates in the cynical man’s union with both the blind man and with God, through the process of drawing a cathedral together on a paper bag. The narrator begins by outlining his wife’s relationship to Robert, the blind man.
Background The Bluest Eye tells about the story of a young black girl, Pecola who lived in Lorain, Ohio. The narrative, as recounted by one of the characters, Claudia MacTeer, told a year in her life which began when she was brought in the MacTeer household.
The author states that the narrator’s ignorance and insensitivity even extends to his wife when he brushed off the poem she had written about a mind-boggling experience of being touched on the face by a blind man. To top it all, he is also jealous of his wife’s relationship with the visiting blind man.
At first glance, it appears to be the confident, successful Dee who is true to her African-American heritage. However, it soon becomes evident that it is the unassuming Maggie who actually cherishes her heritage. In Everyday Use, Walker asserts that heritage lives on only when it is a part of everyday life.
The couple had one more child, a boy. Both of his children went on to become college graduates. Carver worked as a janitor, laborer at a sawmill and as a salesman, following in his father's blue-color footsteps. During the first years of married life, his wife usually earned more than her husband as a waitress, salesperson, administrative assistant, and teacher.
The narrator talks about how he was invited by his colleague Bud for dinner during that night. Even though the narrator and Bud had never socialized outside work, he honors the invite and brings his wife Fran along. During
Robert was invited by the narrator’s wife to pay them a visit after long period of communication such as through mailing of tapes. The wife recalls one time when Robert sensitively ran his hands all over her face, an issue which
Robert and narrator’s wife were in close contact with the help of exchanging audio tapes for ten years and finally, the old man was coming over in order to meet his pen pal and sharer of sorrow.
The narrator had an issue
While young, he used to work with his father in sawmills in California. His mother worked as a waiter. Later on, Carver did other odd jobs since he married while 19 and had to support his family (Sklenicka 4-6; 21). In his studies, Carver concentrated on creative writing.
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