Cathedral Analysis

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Analyzing Raymond Carver’s short story, “Cathedral,” his writing is considered to be minimalistic, and the story contains themes of prejudice and religion. Since Hemingway was an influence on Carver, minimalism has shown up in his work as well. As for the themes, Carver uses his characters to come to overcome a prejudice of blindness and end with an epiphany through religion while drawing a cathedral hand over hand. By analyzing Carver’s short story, I will be able to discover how “Cathedral” was developed. Carver’s writing in “Cathedral” is minimalistic because the story was written in few words, and the narrator was very direct with his emotions. As Clark points out, “Carver’s tendency to place narrow epistemic parameters upon his characters is a technique he likely learns from Chekhov and Hemingway, both of whom he openly acknowledges as influences.” Minimalist writers such as Carver, Hemingway, and other American writers, all seem to create characters that ““…express themselves mainly through obscure gesture and berserk display (Broyard)” (Howe).” When the narrator is explaining the situation going on with the blind man and his wife, he uses multiple short sentences to describe the tapes being sent back and forth. For example, “She wanted to talk. They talked. He asked her to send him a tape and tell him about her life. She did this. She sent the tape (Carver).” The way that Carver has the narrator tell the story shows that the narrator is unhappy and not enthusiastic about his wife’s relationship with the blind man. The short sentences make it easy for the reader to assume and understand the narrator’s emotions. Though the narrator is jealous of the blind man’s relationship with his wife, he also reveals his prejudice toward... ... middle of paper ... the point sentences, it was easier to see how the narrator was feeling and how he was affected by religion when drawing a cathedral. Works Cited Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral." 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology. By Beverly Lawn. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001. 355-68. Print. Clark, Robert C. "Keeping the Reader in the House: American Minimalism, Literary Impressionism, and Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"" Ebscohost. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. Howe, Irving. "Stories of Our Loneliness." The New York Times On The Web. The New York Times Company, 11 Sept. 1983. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. Jones, Jeff. "Religious Revelation In Carver’s "Cathedral"" N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. . "Raymond Carver." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
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