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Essay Redemption Theme in Cathedral by Raymond Carter

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Redemption can be explained as gaining possession of something in exchange for payment. In order to achieve something, one must do something in return. The end result of redemption may be unknown to the person and what their payment is may be a sacrifice. This motif is relayed in the short story, “Cathedral,” by Raymond Carver, by a man who gains new vision from an unlikely source.
“Cathedral” consists of three individuals. The narrator is the main character, which the story revolves around. The wife of the narrator is the second character, who is the least relevant. The third character is the blind man, named Robert, who is a friend of the wife.
The story introduced us to the narrator with him discussing how a blind man was coming to visit him and his wife. His wife and this blind man seemed to have a strong relationship considering they would send tapes back and forth to one another to keep in touch. The narrator was not keen on the idea of this blind man being company. “I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit,” he states. In his defense, this reaction would seem normal coming from a husband whose wife is friendly with another man. Facknitz defends my statement by bringing up the time when the narrator’s wife had worked for the blind man and he let her touch his face (par. 17). The wife talking to the narrator says, “She told me he ran his fingers over every part of her face, her nose-even her neck! She never forgot it. She even tried to write a poem about it.” Facknitz mentions, “Clearly he is jealous, and so emphasizes the eroticism of the blind man’s touch,” (par. 18). Even though the narrator may not have many feelings toward people in his life, he suitably is upset with the extent of his wife and the blind man’s relationsh...


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...-296. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 126. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Literature Resource Center. Web. 05 May 2014.
Henningfeld, Diane Andrews. "Cathedral." Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 05 May 2014.
Bullock, Chris J. "From Castle to Cathedral: The Architecture of Masculinity in Raymond Carver's 'Cathedral'." The Journal of Men's Studies 2.4 (May 1994): 343-351. Rpt. in Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Literature Resource Center. Web. 06 May 2014.
Stern, Carol Simpson. "Cathedral: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Web. 06 May 2014.
Mays, Kelly J. "The Norton Introduction to Literature." Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 32-42.



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