GradeSaver, 18 January 2012 Web. Art as Insight The narrator, his wife, and Robert find insight and meaning in their experiences through poetry, drawing, and storytelling. Scotty has a rough patch after which he lapses into the sleep of a concussion. She tells him that she prayed earlier, her first time in a long while, and asks him to do the same. He confesses to the reader that he stays awake later than his wife each night, stoned, and often has dreams that frighten him. She ended up throwing them up, but used the occasion to pursue a divorce, which was followed by her dating the narrator.
Despite his jealous nature, then, he manages to suppress any curiosity he may feel. The book was a finalist for the 1977 National Book Award in fiction. After flipping around indecisively the narrator settles on one about the cathedrals of Europe. And yet the story does not express the pessimism of these themes, but rather suggests the other theme of connectedness. Before Scotty's accident, Ann and Howard live what must have later seemed to be a perfect life. Throughout the story, Howard attempts to comfort Ann by rationally convincing himself and her that Scotty will be okay, but he cannot quell his fright, his underlying belief that tragedy is central to life.
However, the story is also successful in its beautiful exploration of the themes of isolation and connectedness. Smoking marijuana is an evening ritual for the narrator. They have the Cathedral rigged with bombs to explode at 6:03 am. Of course, the irony is that Robert most likely appreciated his wife more than the narrator does his own, despite the latter's visual sight. GradeSaver, 18 January 2012 Web. Ann feels very close to them, but has nothing more to say, so she leaves.
They describe why they think he was a traitor to the king and also largely responsible for his own death. After a hearty meal and cherry pie, the trio sit back down in the living room and Robert continues his efforts to get to know the narrator. His wife had been living on the West coast with a man she was going to marry, and found Robert's ad seeking someone to read to him. Indeed, this definition is close to that which Nietzsche posits in The. The Evil Spirit also implies that Gretchen is pregnant.
Robert asks him to try to describe a cathedral for him, because he can't picture one. It suddenly occurs to the narrator that Robert might not know what a cathedral looks like at all. This section contains 490 words approx. Robert decision to stay up ensures that the narrator will have to relate to someone. He tries to describe the cathedral, but when he can't, he attempts to retreat back into cynicism. Much later showed it to the narrator when they began going out. He calls the hospital, and then takes a bath.
Robert is interested in traveling and learning, with attempting to find a depth in relationships seen in the symbol of the tapes they send , in attempting to connect with others. It comes, and they all leave together. As with most of the stories in this collection, the character seems to observe himself more than to feel himself in control. They had a great marriage, but then Beulah got cancer and died. The narrator thinks it's incredibly sad that Beulah died without Robert ever seeing what she looked like. After bathing and changing, she drives back to the hospital, feeling vaguely responsible for Scotty's injury and thinking about the family from the waiting room. Scotty doesn't cry or say anything to his friend, just heads back home while the friend continues to school.
It is recommended reading for any lover of suspense novels. The wife joins them when she comes back. Other than leaving occasionally for coffee in the cafeteria, they don't leave. She hears some machinery in the background and, when he says nothing but her name, she asks if it's about Scotty and he say it is. Earlier that night, Miss Dent had held a gun on a man who mistreated her, and she is anxious to get on the train.
Gretchen is in a cathedral seeking forgiveness for her sins. He keeps drawing, even as his wife wakes and is curious about what's happening. The characterization does a lot to disguise the narrator's primary problem: he is detached from his life. The couple leaves, and Marge is left alone again. There is a program about the Middle Ages on television. Carlyle confesses his deep sadness over the separation, and thereby finds the strength to move forward. They started to listen but were interrupted before the narrator could hear anything about himself.
They sit near one another and Robert closes his hand over that of the narrator, and tells the latter to draw. Knowing that the knights will be returning to murder the Archbishop, the priests try to persuade him to go into hiding, but Becket refuses, fully committed to his martyrdom. Her fainting represents her giving into the Evil Spirit. Then she tells him that Robert married Beulah after she came to work for him. The only interaction we see between the narrator and his wife, however, are snippy exchanges in which the narrator does little more than annoy her. Cathedral was published in September of 1983.
During their days of mostly sleepless waiting, a baker continuously prankcalls them, since Scotty's mom had ordered a cake before the accident and forgotten to pick it up. Raymond Carver was one of the many minimalist writers to work with Gordon Lish, a well-respected editor. This is most notable when compared with the conversational skills Robert exhibits in this scene. Though both parents are concerned, Howard forces a calm demeanor and tries to make her feel better. Francis's behavior after Scotty's death indicates how behavior can reveal our desire for connectedness.