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. What did the narrator’s wife wash down all the pills from the medicine cabinet with while she was at Travis A.F.B.?

2. Where does the narrator go to find a pen and paper when the blind man suggests it at night?

3. Where did the other half of the coin go that the blind man was left with, according to the narrator?

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

5. What are the supports called on a cathedral that are built to steady a structure by opposing its outward thrusts?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator attempt to describe a cathedral to Robert?

2. What is signified by the narrator’s final lines in the story?

3. When and where was “Cathedral” first published? What awards was it nominated for?

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

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

6. Where in “Cathedral” does the climax of the narrative take place?

7. How does the author describe his wife’s poetry in “Cathedral”?

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

9. What role does alcoholism play in “Cathedral”?

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 theme of isolation and alienation as applied to the protagonist of “Cathedral.” In what ways does the narrator describe a life that is isolated from those around him? How is this illustrated in the “after-dinner” scene in the living room?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the plot structure of “Cathedral.”How “traditional” do you find the plot structure of the story to be? What about the story’s style makes it more difficult to determine the elements of plot? What does the author employ in order to build suspense in the narrative?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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