Free Essay: "Cathedral" is a short story ultimately about enlightment, finding something more meaningful and deeper with in one self. Although from an.
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- Essay on The Cathedral by Raymond Carver
- Essay on The Cathedral by Raymond Carver - Words | Bartleby
His wife leaves to fetch Robert from the depot, and he settles with a drink in front of the TV until he hears the car park and his wife's laughter. He watches from the window to see her helping Robert out of the car and down the drive. He is greatly surprised to see Robert has a full beard. He turns off the TV and finishes the drink, and then welcomes them in.
His wife is "beaming" when she introduces them. They shake hands, and then she leads him to the sofa. The narrator considers making small talk, but only asks which side of the train Robert sat on. Though the wife think it a strange question, Robert answers it and says he had "nearly forgotten the sensation" of being on a train, it had been so long. The narrator sees his wife finally look at him, and he gets "the feeling she didn't like what she saw.
The narrator is impressed with how little like a stereotypical blind man dark glasses, a cane Robert looks. He does notice that Robert's eyes are creepy up close in various ways. The narrator offers to fix drinks and Robert says, "Bub, I'm a scotch man myself.
They drink several rounds and talk, mostly about Robert's trip. The narrator is surprised to see Robert smoke cigarettes, since he thought the blind did not smoke. After a while, they sit to a huge dinner that the wife prepared. Before they start, the narrator offers to lead prayer, which confuses his wife, until he says, "pray the phone won't ring and the food doesn't get cold.
They eat heartily in silence, as the narrator admires Robert's proficiency with utensils and his willingness to use his fingers at times. After dinner, all are stuffed. They return to the living room with more drinks, and talk more about the past 10 years.
Mostly, the narrator just listens it's about what happened "to them," not him, he thinks , occasionally chiming in so that Robert doesn't think he's left the room. He is a bit contemptuous of how "Robert had done a little of everything…a regular blind jack-of-all-trades. After a while, he finally turns on the TV.
His wife is annoyed, and spins it to ask Robert if he has a TV. Robert answers that he has two — one color, one black-and-white — and knows the difference. The narrator has "no opinion" on this. The wife confesses she's tired and heads upstairs to put on her robe. They're alone for a while, which makes the narrator feel awkward. He pours them another drink and asks if Robert would like to smoke marijuana.
He agrees and they smoke, Robert a bit awkwardly since he seems never to have done so before. When his wife returns, she gives the narrator a "savage look" for pulling out drugs, but Robert seems to enjoy it. They smoke for a while, until the wife tells Robert his bed is fixed upstairs and then she falls asleep on the couch.
He notices her robe is open on her thigh, but doesn't bother to correct it since Robert can't see anyway. He feels awkward again, and offers to lead Robert to bed, but Robert says he'll "stay up until you're ready to turn in," since they hadn't talked much. The narrator says he's "glad for the company," and realizes right away that he is. He confesses to the reader that he stays awake later than his wife each night, stoned, and often has dreams that frighten him. They switch between the channels, but the only decent program is "something about the church and the Middle Ages. They are silent for a while, Robert turned with his ear to the TV, a position that disturbs the narrator a bit.
The program shows medieval monks at work, and the narrator begins to explain the image to Robert.
The TV shows a cathedral, and the narrator tries to describe it. Robert asks if the paintings are frescoes, but the narrator can't remember what frescoes are. It suddenly occurs to the narrator that Robert might not know what a cathedral looks like at all. Robert knows only that they took generations to build, but doesn't really know what they look like. The narrator considers how to describe them, but can only muster simple descriptions — "They're very tall…they reach way up.
The narrator shares that "men wanted to be close to God" and hence built them high. After a while, Robert asks whether the narrator is at all religious. The narrator confesses, "I guess I don't believe in it. In anything. Robert clears his throat and asks the narrator to do him a favor: find some paper and pen, and they will draw a cathedral together. He heads upstairs — his legs feeling "like they didn't have any strength in them" — and finds some supplies. They sit near one another and Robert closes his hand over that of the narrator, and tells the latter to draw. Slowly and with little skill, he begins to sketch, Robert's hand following his own.
He draws a "box that looked like a house" — "it could have been the house [he] lived in" — and continues to add onto it. Robert compliments the work and suggests the narrator never expected an experience like this one. The narrator keeps going — "I couldn't stop" — even as the TV station goes off-air.
He keeps drawing, even as his wife wakes and is curious about what's happening. Robert's encouragement intensifies, and he suggests the narrator add people in the cathedral. Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes, which he does, and then encourages him to draw that way. The narrator acquiesces, and the experience is "like nothing else in [his life up to now.
Essay on The Cathedral by Raymond Carver
He knows he is in his house, but he doesn't feel "like [he] was inside anything. At the center of "Cathedral" is a significant irony: a narrator who ignorantly disdains blindness while being oblivious to his own limitations in sight. Of course, the narrator can see with his eyes but does not realize the limitations he has placed on himself, and how those prevent him from seeing or wanting anything greater in life.
The story is ultimately about transcendence; that is, an existence beyond the limitations of physical things. What Robert has that the narrator lacks is a sight into the wonder of things, the potential for greatness and tenderness in humanity, and the curiosity that can make one truly alive and free even if one is limited by physical factors. To understand the narrator, it is helpful to analyze the masterful first-person voice of the story. The narration is arguably one of Carver's most vivid. The narrator is forthcoming with his listener, both in terms of what he shares his insecurities are myriad but also through the personal qualities he reveals.
He's crude and he's mean, but he's also glib. There's a wicked humor in the way he talks. While he certainly is detached from himself at the beginning, he is unusually talkative and clever for a Carver narrator.
It's a voice worth reading aloud, especially when one notices that the glibness is noticeably absent from the final pages. This absence delivers as powerfully as anything else how shaken and affected the narrator is by this experience. The characterization does a lot to disguise the narrator's primary problem: he is detached from his life.
As with most of the stories in this collection, the character seems to observe himself more than to feel himself in control. The nightly drug use and clear alcohol abuse are easy ways to understand this. It's telling that for all his seeming honesty, he never admits aloud his jealousy of Robert based on the blind man's past relationship with his wife. There is obviously sexual intimidation — look at his language when he describes the touching of the face — yet he never acknowledges it.
Likewise, he seems contemptuous of her desire to write poetry. His detachment from himself is well-reflected in the incident where he listens to one of Robert's tapes with his wife.
Essay on The Cathedral by Raymond Carver - Words | Bartleby
I heard my own name in the mouth of this stranger, this blind man I didn't even know! And then this [from Robert's tape]: "From all you've said about him, I can only conclude—" But we were interrupted, a knock at the door, something, and we didn't ever get back to the tape. Maybe it was just as well.
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I'd heard all I wanted to. For all his judgment of others, the narrator is more than happy to not turn his critical eye on himself, or to be confronted with as much. But he is alone — he has no friends as his wife says , and he stays up watching TV stoned each night when she goes to bed. Asim craft essay on in this english essay. Literary analysis of this disease is the grapes of you require. Finally ready to get to know more than collide. Und raymond carver, tobias wolff, what the lack of minimalism literary analysis.