Cathedral Essay

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In the following excerpt, Cushman compares "Cathedral" to D. H. Lawrence's "The Blind Man," discussing the manner in which Carver's work is influenced by Lawrence and how Carver "rewrites" the ending of "The Blind Man," allowing a "communion" between the blind and the sighted to take place.

Anyone who reads Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," the title-story of his 1983 collection, with a knowledge of D. H. Lawrence's short stories might easily conclude that "Cathedral" is a shrewd, intriguing rewriting of "The Blind Man." Carver's tale presents a scrambled reprise of the crucial elements of Lawrence's great story. Lawrence's triangle of characters consists of a blind husband (Maurice Pervin), his wife (Isabel), and the wife's sighted friend (Bertie Reid). In "Cathedral," the unnamed husband and wife are sighted, but the wife's visiting friend (Robert) is blind. The interplay of husband, wife, and visitor comprises the slight action of both stories. Both...

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This section contains 2,452 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cathedral Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Cathedral from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.