Cathedral Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Exasperated by his inability to explain a cathedral to the blind man, the narrator apologizes and says, “The truth is, cathedrals don’t mean” what to him?

2. What is another word for “arc-boutant” used in the story?

3. The narrator says in the beginning of the story that the last time his wife saw the blind man was when she worked for him in what city?

4. How does the narrator describe the blind man’s facial hair?

5. What beverage does the blind man drink with his dinner in the story?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator describe his wife’s last in-person meeting with the blind man?

2. What is the narrator’s prayer before dinner? How is the dinner described by the narrator?

3. How does the narrator’s wife respond to the marijuana downstairs when she returns?

4. From what narrative perspective is the story told? How does this narrative style affect the reader?

5. How does the narrator describe the scene once his wife has gone upstairs after dinner?

6. What activity does the blind man suggest to the narrator during their discussion about cathedrals?

7. What does the narrator ask Robert regarding cathedrals in the story? Why? How does Robert respond?

8. How does the narrator’s wife describe Robert’s marriage prior to his arrival in the story?

9. Where in the story does the protagonist undergo an “epiphany”?

10. How does the narrator describe Robert’s arrival in the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the important expository elements established in the first two to three pages of “Cathedral.” Why is it important for the reader to understand the history of the narrator’s wife and her friendship with the blind man? How does this information serve the plot?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the character of Robert in “Cathedral.” How old does Robert appear to be? What does the narrator remark about his facial hair? How is Robert dressed? How does Robert differ from the narrator of the story?

Essay Topic 3

Define character action, obstacle, and objective and discuss these elements as they apply to the narrator of “Cathedral.” What is the narrator’s goal in the story? Is he successful in achieving his objectives? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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