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. For what literary genre is author Raymond Carver most well known?

2. What was the narrator’s wife’s position when she worked for the blind man?

3. What tool does the narrator note the blind man does not use after his arrival?

4. What does the narrator say that he, his wife, and the blind man did after scarfing down their dinner in the story?

5. The blind man discusses his ham radio operator friends in “Guam, in the Philippines, in Alaska, and even” where?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is signified by the narrator’s choice to keep his eyes closed at the end of the story?

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

3. How does the reader gain insight into the narrator’s prejudices against blindness in the story?

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

5. Why does the narrator pity Beulah in the beginning of the story?

6. Why does the narrator say the blind man is coming to visit in the beginning of the story?

7. Where does the rising action take place in “Cathedral”?

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

9. What conversation does the narrator have with Robert regarding alcohol after Robert’s arrival?

10. How did the narrator’s wife come to know the blind man? How is this information revealed in the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the Middle Ages and the erection of cathedrals during this historical period. Where are the cathedrals in the story (on television) principally located? Why? How are these structures described?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Raymond Carver’s role in the minimalist movement in literature during the 1980s. What influenced this movement? Who were Carver’s influences as a writer? How is minimalism illustrated in “Cathedral”?

(see the answer keys)

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