Carver Cathedral Essay | Bartleby


raymond carver essay

Cathedral by Raymond Carver - This essay is going to be about “Cathedral” which is a short story written by Raymond Carver. Cathedral is simply the narrative of a man and his acceptance and understanding of a blind man. The man himself is a symbol of the overlying theme of the story, which is overcoming one’s personal prejudice. Download Raymond Carver Study Guide Get access to this study guide and over 30, other titles. Subscribe Now Raymond Carver American Literature Analysis (Masterpieces of American Literature). By Raymond Carver () This blind man, an old friend of my wife’s, he was on his way to spend the night. His wife had died. So he was visiting the dead wife’s relatives in Connecticut. He called my wife from his in-law’s. Arrangements were made. He would come by train, a five-hour trip, and my wife would meet him at the station.

Raymond Carver: poems, essays, and short stories | Poeticous

The old raymond carver essay, Robertis blind, which the narrator identifies as Robert's defining characteristic. As the story begins, the narrator is troubled by the impending visit for reasons he can't quite explain, though he attributes it to Robert's disability.

As the narrator explains, Robert's wife had died recently and so he was visiting her family in Connecticut, raymond carver essay.

As the narrator and his wife live nearby, Robert arranged to visit, and is on his way. The wife had worked briefly for Robert a decade before in Seattle. They have raymond carver essay in touch by mailing tapes to one another, on which each narrated his or her life in detail. His wife had been living on the West coast with a man she was going to marry, and found Robert's ad seeking someone to read to him.

On the last day she worked there, Robert who the narrator continues to call "the blind man" asked to touch her face and she agreed. He ran his hands sensitively all over her face and neck, and the experience proved profound to the wife, who is an aspiring raymond carver essay and has tried to memorialize his raymond carver essay. She showed it to the narrator when they started dating, but he didn't care raymond carver essay it.

He admits he might not understand poetry, raymond carver essay. The narrator tells more of his wife's past. The man she was waiting for in Seattle had been her "childhood sweetheart," and after they married, they lived a military life as he was transferred to bases, raymond carver essay. One year after leaving Seattle, raymond carver essay, she contacted Robert, and they thereafter began to exchange the tapes on which they would tell each other their deep secrets.

They continued to exchange tapes as her life as an Air Force wife got lonelier and lonelier, until she finally tried to kill herself with pills. She ended up throwing them up, but used the occasion to pursue a divorce, which was followed by her dating the narrator.

She once asked the narrator to listen to one of Robert's tapes, raymond carver essay. On it, he heard his own name spoken, a strange experience.

They were interrupted by someone knocking, an interruption which pleased him. The story jumps into its main action as the wife prepares dinner and the narrator glibly suggests taking Robert bowling. She begs him to welcome Robert and chides him for having no friends, "period. Raymond carver essay asks her if Beulah was "a Negro," which makes her angry but also raymond carver essay her to share more of Robert's past, raymond carver essay.

Beulah began reading for Robert the summer after she had left, and they were soon thereafter wed. After eight years of marriage, Beulah was diagnosed with cancer and died. He feels sorry for Beulah, "a woman raymond carver essay could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from raymond carver essay beloved. His wife leaves to fetch Robert from the depot, and he settles with a drink in front of the TV until he hears the car park and his wife's laughter.

He watches from the window to see her helping Robert out of the car and down the drive. He is greatly surprised to see Robert has a full beard. He turns off the TV and finishes the drink, and then welcomes them in. Raymond carver essay wife is "beaming" when she introduces them. They shake hands, and then she leads him to the sofa. The narrator considers making small talk, but only asks which side of the train Robert sat on. Though the wife think it a strange question, Robert answers it and says he had "nearly forgotten the sensation" of being on a train, it had been so long.

The narrator sees his wife finally look at him, and he gets "the feeling she raymond carver essay like what she saw. The narrator is impressed with how little like a stereotypical blind man dark glasses, a cane Robert looks.

He does notice that Robert's eyes are creepy up close in various ways. The narrator offers to fix drinks and Robert says, "Bub, I'm a scotch man myself.

They drink several rounds and talk, mostly about Robert's trip. The narrator is surprised to see Robert smoke cigarettes, since he thought the blind did not smoke. After a while, they sit to a huge dinner that the wife prepared. Before they start, the narrator offers to lead prayer, which confuses his wife, until he says, "pray the phone won't ring and the raymond carver essay doesn't get cold.

They eat heartily in silence, as the narrator admires Robert's proficiency with utensils and his willingness to use his fingers at times, raymond carver essay. After dinner, all are stuffed. They return to the living room with more drinks, and talk more about the past 10 years. Mostly, the narrator just listens it's about what happened "to them," not him, he thinksoccasionally chiming in so that Robert doesn't think he's left the room.

He is a bit raymond carver essay of how "Robert had done a little of everything…a regular blind jack-of-all-trades. After a while, he finally turns on the TV.

His wife is annoyed, and spins it to ask Robert if he has a TV. Robert answers that he has two — one color, raymond carver essay, one black-and-white — and knows the difference. The narrator has "no opinion" on this. The wife confesses she's tired and heads upstairs to put on her robe. They're alone for a while, which makes the narrator feel awkward.

He pours them another drink and asks if Robert would like to smoke marijuana. He agrees and they smoke, Robert a bit awkwardly since he seems never to have done so before.

When his wife returns, she gives the narrator a "savage look" for pulling out drugs, raymond carver essay, but Robert seems to enjoy it. They smoke for a while, until the wife tells Robert his bed is fixed upstairs and then she falls asleep on the couch.

He notices her robe is open on her thigh, but doesn't bother to correct it since Robert can't see anyway. He feels awkward again, and offers to raymond carver essay Robert to bed, but Robert says he'll "stay up until you're ready to turn in," since raymond carver essay hadn't talked much.

The narrator says he's "glad for the company," and realizes right away that he is. He confesses to the reader that he stays awake later than his wife each night, raymond carver essay, stoned, and often has dreams that frighten him. They switch between the channels, but the only decent program is "something about the church and the Middle Ages. They are silent for a while, Robert turned with his ear to the TV, a position that disturbs the narrator a bit.

The program shows medieval monks at work, and the narrator begins to explain the image to Robert. The TV shows a cathedral, and the narrator tries to describe it. Robert asks if the paintings are frescoes, but the narrator can't remember what frescoes are. It suddenly occurs to the narrator that Robert might not know what a cathedral looks like at all. Robert knows only that they took generations to build, but doesn't really know what they look like.

The narrator considers how to describe them, but can only muster simple descriptions — "They're very tall…they reach way up. The narrator shares that "men wanted to be close to God" and hence built them high.

After a while, Robert asks whether the narrator is at all religious. The narrator confesses, "I guess I don't believe in it. In anything. Robert clears his throat and asks the narrator to do him a favor: find some paper and pen, raymond carver essay, and they will draw a cathedral together. He heads upstairs — his legs feeling "like they didn't have any strength in them" — and finds some supplies. They sit near one another and Robert closes his hand over that of the narrator, and tells the latter to draw.

Raymond carver essay and with little skill, raymond carver essay begins to sketch, Robert's hand following his own. He draws a "box that looked like a house" — "it could have been the house [he] lived in" — and continues to add onto it.

Robert compliments the work and suggests the narrator never expected an experience like this one. The narrator keeps going — "I couldn't stop" — even as the TV station goes off-air. He keeps drawing, even as his wife wakes and is curious about what's happening. Robert's encouragement intensifies, and he suggests the narrator add people in the cathedral. Robert tells the narrator to close raymond carver essay eyes, which he does, and then encourages him to draw that way.

The narrator acquiesces, and the experience is "like nothing else in [his life up to now. He knows he is in his house, but he doesn't feel "like [he] was inside anything. At the center of "Cathedral" is a significant irony: a narrator who ignorantly disdains blindness while being oblivious to his own limitations in sight.

Of course, the narrator can see with his eyes but does not realize the limitations he has placed on himself, and how those prevent him from seeing or wanting anything greater in life. The story is ultimately about transcendence; that is, an existence beyond the limitations of physical things. What Robert has that the narrator lacks is a sight into the wonder of things, the potential for greatness and tenderness in humanity, and the curiosity that can make one truly alive and free even if one is limited by physical factors.

To understand the narrator, it is helpful to analyze the masterful first-person voice of the story. The narration is arguably one of Carver's most vivid. The narrator is forthcoming with his listener, raymond carver essay, both in terms of what he shares his insecurities are myriad but also through the personal qualities he reveals.

He's crude and he's mean, but he's also glib. There's a wicked humor in the way he talks. While he certainly is detached from himself at the beginning, he is unusually talkative and clever for a Carver narrator. It's a voice worth reading aloud, especially when one notices that the glibness is noticeably absent from the final pages. This absence delivers as powerfully as anything else how shaken and affected the narrator is by this experience.

The characterization does a lot to disguise the narrator's primary problem: he is detached from his life.

As with most of the stories in this collection, the character seems to observe himself more than to feel himself in control. The nightly drug use and clear alcohol abuse are easy ways to understand this.


Analytical essay of Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" Essay Example


raymond carver essay


Oct 16,  · `` Cathedral `` By Raymond Carver Words | 4 Pages “Cathedral” is a short story that was written by Raymond Carver in Raymond Carver is most well known for his short stories and is even an writer credited with reviving the then dying form of literature. Cathedral study guide contains a biography of Raymond Carver, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and Raymond Carver. Jan 12,  · Serious Talk by Raymond Carver -- or, as Carver might have entitled this essay: "Although not much talking takes place, the story's theme certainly is serious." From the beginning, Raymond Carver's short story, entitled, "A Serious Talk," engages in a play of inflated and deflated expectations from the reader's and the main characters.