Type of paper:
United States, Literature, Church, World, Life, America, Cathedral, Time
"Cathedral" by Raymond Carter is a minimalist short story. With that, I mean that the story itself is of a short, chapter-long format, telling a truncated story that does not take place over more than a short period of time. The minimalism in the short story shows the no-frills setting and characterization of the story itself; the tale simply has three characters, very simplistic and uncomplicated plotting, and a larger focus on theme and message than in following a strict story.
The intended audience for "Cathedral" are American readers of short fiction, and those who could potentially relate to the prudish, easily jealous narrator. I believe that the overall goal of Carver's short story is to illustrate to those kinds of people the different ways of relating to the world that blind people have, and how that can be shared by others. Taking place in a contemporary setting for Carver, he wanted to show the malaise and lack of imagination present in American life and manhood at the time.
The main point of "Cathedral" is to understand the different ways of looking at the world, and to demonstrate the value of those differently abled, as they have a unique perspective on life and the world that we may learn from. The most interesting part of the "Cathedral" reading is the narrator's language, which is appropriately short and to the point; it perfectly encapsulates the narrator's lack of imagination, which is changed by the blind man's experiences with him. The narrator uses very simple words and phrases in his speech, to note the very straightforward way in which he looks at the world.
Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral."
Kennedy, X.J., et al. (2011). The Bedford guide for college writers. Macmillan.
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