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Cathedral | Study Guide

Raymond Carver

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Cathedral | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Raymond Carver's Cathedral. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

cathedral-raymond-carverNarratort was like nothing else in my life up to now.Drugs & AlcoholThe narrator and his wife drink alcohol and smoke cannabis to fill the void in their relationship. TechnologyAudio tapes and the telephone help maintain a friendship; TV substitutes for interpersonal communication. Set in a modest suburban home in the 1970s­−80s, Cathedral” provides a look into a marriage that has fallen into a routine of drink, drugs, and avoidance of intimacy. When the wifes longtime friend and confidant—a man who is blindvisits, he causes jealousy and disrupts the prevailing mood in an unexpected way.Learning to SeeMAIN CHARACTERSAir Force OfficerThe wifes first husbandRobertOutgoing, kind, and curious blind man; captures the narrators interest and respectThe NarratorBored, cynical, and detached; jealous of wifes friendship with the blind manThe WifeSensitive, introspective, and kind; values friendship with blind manThemesMotifsMinimum number of drafts Carver wrote of each of his short stories Months it took Carver to write the stories in the collection Cathedral Year Carvers short story collection Cathedral was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Year in which Robert Altmans film Short Cuts premiered, based on nine of Carvers stories and one poem199310181984Cathedralby the NumbersBeulahRoberts recently deceased wifeCarver wrote about the people he knew best: ordinary Americans like his parentspeople who are trudging through lives filled with broken dreams, failed relationships, alienation, alcoholism, and loneliness. Cathedral,” unlike many of his stories with ambiguous, bleak endings, offers a glimmer of hope for its characters.RAYMOND CARVER1938–88AuthorLonelinessEach character is coping with feelings of isolation, with varying degrees of success. CommunicationTaking time to connect fosters strong relationships; a lack of effort harms them.FriendshipA strong bond can mean the difference between hope and despair. Raymond Carver1981EnglishShort Story AuthorFirst PublishedOriginal LanguageCathedralFictionSources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Paris Review, Poetry Foundation, The Pulitzer PrizesCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

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