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First Person Narration in Cathedral Essay


In Raymond Carvers short story Cathedral,he uses a first-person narrator to tell the story to emphasize the bewildering aspects of the transcending moment that he relates in the story. The narrator is concerned only about how the visit from Robert will affect him and is contemptuous of what role Robert may have played in his wifes past. At the same time, the narrator lacks self-awareness. There was no conclusion at the end of the story. Carver finishes with leaving the narrator with his eyes closed imagining the cathedral he has just drawn with Robert. The ending leaves the reader hanging and the writer may have left off in the middle of a thought or idea. This essay describes the view of the narrator and the meaning behind it , as well as the zero ending of this short story that is not explained.

The story follows a first person view that is narratoring the plot . The narrator empashizes his own view on the blind men , Robert, that is visiting them. He sympathetic of Roberts wife, Beulah, because her husband could never look at her. He will never realize that he doesnt really know his own wife even though he cant really see her. A line from the short story Why should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, what more does he want? The narrator of the story was not a skillful storyteller putting his narrative together with rough transitions. In one scene, the narrator makes Robert seem abnormal when he was describing the way he looked when he came to visit. Also the way he smokes cigarettes and the way he cuts his meat during dinner. But there was a turn of event. The narrator felt differently about Robert as he guides the narrator in drawing the cathedral with his eyes closed, the narrator revels in the strangeness of the experience, and his fascinating experiences makes this inspirational moment more surreal.

The ending of the short story leaves many unanswered questions, such as how does the narrator has changed.The relationships between his wife , if it will change or not. The title of the storyCathedral means, the change in one mans understanding of himself and the world, but Carver ends the story at the moment when this change reveals the narrators inner feelings. Just as the title Cathedral means the narrator has not become a new person or achieved any kind of soul-changing enlightenment. In the other hand, the narrators final words, Its really something, reveal him to be the same person as he was before.

In conclusion, Carver has created an ending that leaves the reader many with many unanswered questions. Leaves the reader questioning about the title of the short story and does the narrator does as it means in what the title refer too. The view point of the narrator is to express throughout the story and his judging the book by its cover reveals the other side of Robert.

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