Table of Contents Context Raymond Carver was born in in the small town of Clatskanie, Oregon, to an alcoholic father who worked at a sawmill and a mother who worked as a waitress. He grew up in Washington state and married Maryann Burke, his high school girlfriend, when he was just eighteen.
It also reveals him as an insensitive character who has prejudiced notions about a variety of subjects. The climax toward which the story moves—a confrontation between the narrator and the blind man—begins when the wife goes to sleep and the two men drink and smoke marijuana together.
The encounter is triggered by a program on television about Christianity in the Middle Ages—which the narrator watches because there is nothing else on.
When the program features a cathedral, the narrator asks the blind man if he knows what a cathedral is. The blind man says he has no real idea and asks the narrator to describe a cathedral to him.
When the narrator fails, the blind man asks him if he is religious, to which the narrator says he does not believe in anything. The blind man then asks the narrator to find some paper and a pen so that they can draw a cathedral together.
The blind man even asks the narrator to close his eyes as they continue drawing. When they finish, the blind man asks him to look at the drawing and tell him what he thinks; the narrator keeps his eyes closed. He knows that he is in his house, but he says that he does not feel like he is inside anything.
His final statement is typical Carver inconclusiveness: The narrator has obviously reached some sort of traditional epiphany at the end. Ironically, whereas he had been morally blind before, now he is able to see. The story is about his ultimate ability to identify with the blind man, about the two men blending together into one entity.
The tendency toward explanation moved his later work closer to the kind of moral fiction of which his first mentor, Gardner, would have approved.A short Raymond Carver biography describes Raymond Carver's life, times, and work. Also explains the historical and literary context that influenced Cathedral.
Cathedral study guide contains a biography of Raymond Carver, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of Cathedral. It helps middle and high school students understand Raymond Carver's literary masterpiece. "Cathedral" is American writer and poet Raymond Carver's most famous story.
It was first published in The Atlantic Monthly in A somewhat revised version is .
Raymond Carver was born in in the small town of Clatskanie, Oregon, to an alcoholic father who worked at a sawmill and a mother who worked as a waitress. He grew up in Washington state and married Maryann Burke, his high school girlfriend, when he was just eighteen.
Cathedral 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 .