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Cathedral Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

Henningfeld is an associate professor of Eng-lish at Adrian College who regularly writes and publishes critical essays for a variety of educational publishers. In the essay below, she uses reader response theory to demonstrate how readers use their imaginations to "see" the short story, "Cathedral," just as the narrator learns to "see" a cathedral through his collaboration with the blind man.

"Cathedral" first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1981, before Carver chose to make it the title story of his 1983 collection, Cathedral. The collection, and most notably the story, was well-received by both readers and reviewers. Subsequently, the story has become one of the most frequently anthologized and most frequently taught short stories of Carver's body of work.

The success of the story can be accounted for in several ways. A number of reviewers (and Carver himself) identify the story as a transitional moment in Carver's career. As...

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This section contains 1,510 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Cathedral Study Guide
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Cathedral from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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