Cathedral, by Raymond Carvers

1029 Words3 Pages

Raymond Carvers “ Cathedral” depicts a scenario where the narrator experiences a inner transformation. This transformation happens when the narrator sketches a cathedral with his eyes closed. Sketching the cathedral, opened his inner eyes to greater things that lie beyond the physical environment of his world. The epiphany occurs when the narrator shuts out the physical environment and focuses solely on drawing the cathedral with his heart. The narrator who once lived life appreciating the physical elements of life altered his way of thinking while connecting with his inner self. Although Cathedral tells a story of an individual reaching epiphany, ultimately,it is story that depicts how internal blindness distorts reality from being physically seen.

In the story, the narrator exemplifies ignorance when presented with the reality of life. Likewise, his ignorance prevents him from seeing life beyond the scope of the physical element. The narrator is consumed with the influence of media and society in viewing the realities of life. “ And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies. “(78) The narrator's ideology of reality was formed by media and society. In the context of “Cathedral” media and society portrayed successful individuals as ones with various materialistic and physical attributes. Likewise, throughout his narration, his focus is on the physical and materialistic aspects of life. “ The man she was going to marry at the end of the summer was in officer's training school. He didn’t have any money, either.” The narrator is incompetent to recognize that relationships rely on deep emotional attachment, therefore, he has a difficult time to comprehend the relationship between his wife and the old ...

... middle of paper ... else in my life up to now.” ( 89) During his experience, the narrator was oblivious to the environment around him. He enjoyed his personal experience of drawing the cathedral. The narrator's eyes were opened internally, ignorance had left him and he was aware of the reality around him.

Carver's “ Cathedral” begins by describing an event that is easy to understand. The story, however, develops into a much deeper writing once symbolism and conflict are analyzed. The story is not simply about a man learning to draw a cathedral with his eyes closed, but a gradual process of realizing that the narrator was blind to reality. This in turn, sees the narrator and the old man in a new light. The intensity of this encounter between the narrator and his epiphany depicts that blindness occurs internally rather than the physically.

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