Cathedral Test | Final 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. The narrator says in the beginning of the story that the last time his wife saw the blind man was how many years ago?

2. The narrator asks the blind man while they watch TV if he knows the difference between a cathedral and what?

3. What color is all of the blind man’s attire when he arrives?

4. The narrator says that after the death of the blind man’s wife, he was left with half of what kind of coin?

5. How long ago does the narrator say his wife offered to let him listen to a tape from the blind man in the beginning of the story?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the narrator’s perceptions of Robert’s marriage as his wife describes it in the beginning of the story?

2. How does the narrator’s wife suggest the narrator act toward Robert when he visits?

3. How does the narrator describe Robert’s eyes in the story?

4. What prompts the narrator to begin speaking during the television show?

5. How are the narrator’s perceptions of race illustrated in “Cathedral”?

6. How are the characters in “Cathedral” representative of Raymond Carver’s style?

7. How does the narrator feel about the blind man’s visit in the beginning of the story? What are his impressions of “the blind”?

8. What takes place in the story as it builds to its climax?

9. How does the narrator’s wife respond when he turns on the television? What conversation ensues?

10. What is “minimalist fiction” and how does it apply to “Cathedral”?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze and discuss the economic and historical context of the story. If the story had been written in a different era, how might the protagonist’s employment situation have been different? How does the protagonist of “Cathedral” reflect the issues facing everyday Americans at this time?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the narrative style of “Cathedral.” What are the advantages and disadvantages of this style? How does the narrative point of view relate to the story and its themes? How does this narrative point of view affect you as a reader?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss the setting of “Cathedral.” Of what importance is the setting of the story? Could the story be set in a different time and place? How would this change the story?

(see the answer keys)

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