The structural and technical features of the story point towards a religious epiphany. The title of the story, as well as its eventual subject, that of cathedrals, points inevitably towards divinity. Upon first approaching the story, without reading the first word of the first paragraph, one is already forced into thinking about a religious image. In addition, four of the story’s eleven pages (that amounts to one third of the tale) surround the subject of cathedrals.
Adding to the obvious structural references to cathedrals and religion, the language and character actions present further evidence of an epiphany of divine proportions. The television program which the characters watch together deals entirely with cathedrals. This spurs the first real conversation between the narrator and the blind man. This presents religion as some form of common ground, on which one could stand, even without sight. When first asked by Robert, the blind man, if he was "in any way religious," the narrator asserts that he is not, and goes on to explain how cathedrals and religion "don’t mean any...
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... the eyes of a blind man, but also to appreciate the world through the eyes of a man of God.
Bethea, Arthur F. "Carver’s ‘Wes Hardin: From a Photograph’ and ‘A Small Good Thing.’" The Explicator. Spring 1999. 176-178.
Bethea, Arthur F. "Carver’s ‘Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?’" The Explicator. Spring 1998: 132-134.
Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 1052-1062.
Nesset, Kirk. "Insularity and Self-Enlargement in Raymond Carver’s ‘Cathedral.’" Essays in Literature. March 22, 1994: 116.
Stull Williams. "Beyond Hopelessville: Another Side of Raymond Carver." Philological Quarterly. 1985: 1-15.
Verley, Claudine. "Narration and Interiority in Raymond Carver’s ‘Where I’m Calling From.’" Journal of the Short Story in English 13. 1989: 91-102.
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