This week, I had the pleasure of reading Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” for my American Literary class. Having heard of the writer before but never having gotten around to any of his work, I was very excited to get stuck into his. If you don’t know and aren’t afraid of spoilers, the story focuses on a man and his wife as his wife’s old friend, a blind man, comes to visit them. The man is suspicious of this friend, but also amazed, he is shocked that he can use a knife and fork so well. After a while, the man adjusts to the blind man and they become friends. They sit on the floor and draw a cathedral together, as the blind man has never seen one and wanted to know what they are like. As they do so, the protagonist stops and questions whether he has really been seeing things all along or not.
After this story was published, it was later revealed that it was based on a true event that happened to Carver himself. I feel that this obviously gives the story a lot more depth but also a lot more heart. What do you think? Is i t just a two-dimensional story or is it something deeper? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo: St Johns Cathedral, Limerick. source