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Raymond Carver, Cathedral - Essay Example

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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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Raymond Carver, Cathedral
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Download file to see previous pages 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’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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This essay was always my weak point. I could never complete it on time. Still, after I found this particular essay, I understood how it should be completed. So, I performed my research afterward and completed the essay in several hours, instead of weeks as it was previously.
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