Symbolism In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In some stories, symbolism can play a significant role in coming to understand the overall moral of the story. One of the best examples of this is found in Raymond Carver's “Cathedral”. This story centers around the theme of the differences between physically looking at something, and truly seeing it. In the final section of the story Carver gives his readers a wonderful example of symbolism as the readers discover along with the narrator, that seeing something through understanding can be much more powerful than the physical sense of the word. In the final section of Carvers story “Cathedral”, the narrator of the story and Robert (who is blind) are watching a TV show while the narrator's wife (who is very good friends with Robert) sleeps on the couch. In the TV show there are Cathedrals which are being shown around different parts of the globe. The narrator asks Robert if he knows what a Cathedral looks like, and he says no. When the narrator tries to describe one to Robert, he discovers he cannot adequately express one because Cathedrals are “meaningless” to him due to his lack of religion. Just then, Robert instructs the narrator to collect a pen and a piece of paper so they can draw one.…show more content…
The narrator becomes immersed in the drawing, followed by Robert instructions to “Close your eyes now” (46). Robert continues to become immersed in the sheer act of drawing. Soon, Robert instructs and asks the narrator to “Take a look. What do you think?” (46). However, the narrator keeps his eyes closed. When Robert asks the narrator if he is looking, he simply replies with “It’s really something”
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