Cathedral:Raymond Carver Essay

1129 words - 5 pages

"Cathedral"Raymond Carver was born to an alcoholic father who worked in a sawmill on May 25, 1938 in Clatskanie, Oregon. He married and had two children between the ages of 18 and 21. He and his bride of 16, Mary, were married for twenty years. He believed hard work would see his family through all life's troubles. However, poverty and his own alcoholism finally caused them to go their separate ways. After seizures and doctors convinced him to stop drinking, he married Tess, who was with him for eleven years and nurtured him until he died of lung and brain cancer.y what he called his two lives. In his first life, low paying jobs, acute addiction to alcohol and the unrelieved responsibility ...view middle of the document...

This was illustrated by telling us about his marriage and life in the flashback. Bub's wife was a static character. She does not change throughout the story. The story was set in the living room of Bub's home, but it could have taken place anywhere.Once the blind guest arrived, Bub noticed that Robert did not use a cane. This was the first breakdown of his stereotypical ideas about blind people. Next, Bub noticed that Robert did not wear dark glasses and had a beard, which was something else that surprised him. Bub's ideas about blind people came from movies.Rising action included the three characters dining together, drinking, smoking, conversing and watching television. The rising action lent itself to Bub and Robert becoming more comfortable with each other. First, by having a few drinks together, they loosened up. Then they ate dinner where Bub observed Robert using a fork and knife with grace. After dinner, they began to converse, and eventually Bub smoked a joint with Robert in the symbolic gesture of the comfort he felt with him. In another symbolic gesture, the wife repeatedly asked the blind man if he was ready for bed. She was tired and wanted to protect Robert from her husband's insensitivity to Robert's blindness. However, Bub started to see that certain things he had believed about blind people like never laughing and moving around slowly just were not true and Robert seemed to sense Bub was coming around.At one point, Bub turned on the television without taking into account that Robert could not see it. Robert surprised them by stating it was a color television. He reassured Bub by telling him that he enjoyed listening to television shows. Bub could not find anything to watch except a documentary about cathedrals. He tried to describe what the cathedrals looked like to Robert, but it was an arduous task. Suspense built as the audience began to wonder if he would be able to convey the concept of the cathedrals to this blind man. The blind man encouraged him, but Bub grew...

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