Comparing and Contrasting Cathedral with Other Short Stories: A Summary and Analysis

  Assignment Help  26th Apr 2023

"Cathedral" is a short story by American author Raymond Carver. It was first published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1981 and later included in Carver's collection of short stories, also titled Cathedral. The story follows the narrator, a man who is initially prejudiced against his wife's blind friend Robert, but ultimately has a transformative experience while helping Robert draw a cathedral. You can take Cathedral short story summary Assignment Help from BookMyEssay.

While "Cathedral" stands on its own as a powerful and thought-provoking short story, it can also be compared and contrasted with other works of short fiction to highlight its unique qualities and contributions to the genre. In this analysis, we will explore some of these comparisons and contrasts.

One Story That Shares Some Similarities

"Cathedral" is Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants." Both stories feature a male narrator who is initially closed-minded and dismissive of the perspectives of the women in their lives. In "Hills Like White Elephants," the narrator is traveling with his girlfriend and they have a conversation about whether or not to have an abortion. The man is impatient and dismissive, while the woman is hesitant and uncertain.

Similarly, in "Cathedral," the narrator is dismissive of his wife's blind friend Robert, who is coming to visit them. However, as the stories progress, both narrators begin to open up and empathize with the women in their lives. In "Hills Like White Elephants," the man begins to understand the gravity of the decision they are making and tries to comfort the woman. In "Cathedral," the narrator has a transformative experience while helping Robert draw a cathedral and gains a newfound appreciation for his wife and their relationship.

Another story that shares some similarities with "Cathedral" is Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Both stories feature characters who undergo transformations or epiphanies, often due to unexpected circumstances or encounters. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," a family goes on a road trip and encounters a group of criminals who ultimately kill them all.

However, before she dies, the grandmother has a moment of grace and empathy for the criminal who is about to shoot her. In "Cathedral," the narrator's encounter with Robert ultimately leads to a transformative experience that brings him closer to his wife and helps him see the world in a new way.

While "Cathedral" shares some similarities with these stories, it also has unique qualities that set it apart. One of the most notable aspects of the story is its use of imagery and sensory detail. Throughout the story, Carver uses language to create a vivid and immersive world for the reader.

For example, when the narrator is describing the dinner he and his wife have with Robert, he notes the "silk curtains with birds and berries" and the "tall candles on the table." These details help to create a sense of atmosphere and mood that draws the reader in and makes them feel as if they are right there with the characters. If you need The Cathedral Short Story Assignment Help then, you can easily contact BookMyEssay.

Another unique aspect of "Cathedral" is its exploration of empathy and human connection. While many short stories focus on conflict or tension between characters, "Cathedral" ultimately celebrates the ways in which people can come together and form meaningful connections, even in unexpected circumstances. The narrator's transformation throughout the story is a testament to the power of empathy and human connection.

In conclusion, "Cathedral" is a powerful and thought-provoking short story that stands on its own as a literary masterpiece. However, by comparing and contrasting it with other works of short fiction, we can gain a deeper appreciation for its unique qualities and contributions to the genre.

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