Response – Cathedral

Reading: “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

Impressions and notes:

Since this story is told in first person, the entire story is a dialogue between the author and the reader. The tone is casual, as if the author was having a conversation with the reader in a pub somewhere.

I didn’t understand the narrator’s reticence in meeting Robert, who he refers to as “the blind man.” It occurred to me that the dialogue-heavy story was intentional. Since one of the main characters in the story is blind, there is much visual imagery that would connect us as readers to Robert. His mental images are presumably different than those of a sighted person.

In spite of that, the scene where Robert asked the narrator to draw out a cathedral was very visual for me as a reader. It forced me to delineate in my mind what a cathedral would look like.

I found it interesting that we never learn the narrator’s name nor his wife’s name. The informal tone of the story-telling draws us right into a day in the life of the narrator.

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