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Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral" explores a number of different social and psychological issues including stereotyping and prejudice. hen the blind male friend of the narrator's wife enters their home, issues related to self-esteem, sexuality, and racism also arise. The blind man, Robert, helps the narrator to "see," serving a symbolic function of enlightenment. Cannabis provides the means by which the two men bond on an emotional and intellectual level, as they draw the cathedral together. Moreover, the difference between traditional organized religion and secular spirituality is explored. "Cathedral" reveals the historical and social context of Raymond Carver's writing.
The most apparent theme in "Cathedral," because it weaves its way throughout the short story, is the changing nature of gender roles. hen the blind man comes to "spend the night" with the narrator and his wife, it is immediately apparent that the narrator feels threatened by a man who happens…… [Read More]
Ethos is emphasized by presenting Aylmer as a successful scientist who abandoned his career in order to stay with his wife. Pathos emerges at the time when Aylmer is unable to sleep at night thinking that his wife is almost perfect and that he could actually make her perfect by putting his experience to use. Logos takes place when Aylmer performs a series of successful tests and actually goes as far as to demonstrate the potion's success by using it to resurrect a plant.
The central character is blinded by his exaggerated self-appreciation and he fails to observe the risks that he puts his wife to as a result. His obsession with perfection is responsible for making him unable to distinguish between right and wrong.
3. Langston Hughes attempts to speak directly to his readers in "Theme for English B." He is well-acquainted with the fact that society has a…… [Read More]
Robert lost his wife, he is blind, and he is forced to interact with a person that the narrator believes he feels attracted to. All of these problems seem to be unimportant for the man and this influences the narrator in acknowledging his personal misery. The narrator accepts that he is doomed to being miserable because he is unable to appreciate life and the privileges that nature provided him with (Saltzman 154).
The narrator changes his thinking several times in the evening when Robert comes to visit. He initially believes that Robert is a typical blind man that one can see in motion pictures, he later comes to be frustrated with the man's open nature, and he eventually ends up acknowledging that this is an impressive person. The narrator's "experience with Robert, and attempting to experience the world from Robert's perspective, opens up a whole new way of looking at…… [Read More]
Despite its prominent placement in the title of the story, the cathedral in Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral" takes quite a while to make its appearance. The story instead is about a marriage -- a husband and wife have a guest to dinner. Carver's story is narrated in the first person, from the perspective of the husband, so to some extent the symbolism of the story is constructed with a sort of irony: the narrator himself is not explicitly aware of the symbolism, nor does he comment upon it directly. As a result, the relationship of the central symbol of the story is more or less oblique: its significance is signposted by the story's title, but is otherwise withheld from the reader for what seems a very long time until it makes its appearance. However, I hope that, with some close reading of the story as a whole,…… [Read More]
hen one is seeking a bright, cheerily optimistic view of the world one does not automatically turn to the works of Raymond Carver. The short story writer - whom many critics cite as being the greatest master of that form since Ernest Hemingway - filled his pages with anger and discontent, despair and loss, desperation and the demons of addiction. The overall tone of his work is certainly dark. But his writing is not universally so, a fact that tends to be overlooked in the overall tone of this oeuvre. But while it would of course be dishonest (and a disservice to the tone of his writings) to call Carver an optimist, it would also be a disservice to him not to consider the happier, gentler and sweeter moments that intercede into his work. This paper examines those moments of brightness, those moments of lightness, in his work…… [Read More]
The beginning of the end being her attempted suicide, due to the fact that she felt disconnected from him, her first husband, and the world, as he was in the military and they had constantly moved away from human connections she had made. (Carver NP) Her second marriage, to the insular narrator, going to bed at different times, and he sitting up watching late night television in his insular world, where he liked the old sofa, but she insisted on buying a new one is clearly headed down the same path. (Carver NP) Robert's inclusion of the narrator in the epiphany which had initially kept the connection of his wife and Robert over so many years strong served a restorative role, that the reader then hopes the narrator will allow to pervade his and his wife's life together and save them from losing the dream of their love and life…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. Carver began his career as a writer as a poet but is more well-known for his prowess in the art of short stories, for which he is widely regarded as the preeminent storyteller of his time. Carver himself is often quoted as saying: "I began as a poet, my first publication was a poem. So I suppose on my tombstone I'd be very pleased if they put 'Poet and short- story writer -- and occasional essayist' in that order." (The orzoi Reader Web site)
Carver studied at Humboldt State University and the University of Iowa while working at various low paying jobs. He married early at the age of 19 and though he stayed married for twenty years, Carver himself said that they knocked around from town to town and job to job: "We were always looking for something better. We…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver is a writer who is known for a distinct style and also for distinct themes. The style is what is usually refers to as 'minimalist.' The themes common to his stories include the basics of life and people's struggles. hat is most significant about his subjects is that they are not significant. Rather than focus on anything obviously meaningful, Carver focuses on the realities of the average life, not dressing up the details, but instead focusing on the gritty details that make it real. The stories also tend to focus on issues like loss and violence and drunkenness and rarely provide a happy ending. Each of these distinctive features of Carver's stories can be traced to his own life, with the themes and styles representing Carver's own experiences and his observations of people around him. In this way, Carver's stories are largely autobiographical.
Before considering how Carver's life…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver's greater maturity of symbolism and theme in "A Small, Good Thing," as opposed to "The Bath"
Both the short stories "The Bath" by Raymond Carver and "A Small, Good Thing," are tales about sudden, tragic and meaningless death. However, while superficially the two stories may revolve around similar themes and plot devices, the longer, latter tale of "A Small, Good, Thing," is ultimately the more thematically redemptive of the two and the more mature expression of a holistic philosophy about life and healing than is the more sparse and harsher "The Bath."
The similarities between the two tales on their surface in terms of literal meaning and plot seem obvious. Beyond the concrete events that the tales tell as they unfold, both stories concern the apparently arbitrary methods by which individuals are taken away from those who care for them. A child can die right before his…… [Read More]
Teenage sexual frustration and repressed anger pervade Raymond Carver's short story "Nobody Said Anything." Although the bulk of the tale covers the narrator's playing hooky from school, the fishing expedition serves mainly as a dramatic and symbolic backdrop for his parents' marital problems. The story begins and ends with tense moments at home, during which mother and father fight furiously while neglecting their two children. The parents do not take their anger out on the kids through overt violence, but they nevertheless emotionally neglect their children, saying nothing to address their feelings. The adolescent narrator struggles to impress his parents, especially his father, by catching a monstrous fish. However, his quest for attention is thwarted and only results in his getting scolded. The fish anecdote serves as a means to indirectly address the narrator's pain; it is a convenient metaphor for divorce, and the disgusting imagery of the…… [Read More]
Fathers Life, by Raymond Carver [...] meaning of the essay as it relates to fathers and sons. The relationship between fathers and their sons is difficult, as this essay captures effectively while still managing to be poignant and meaningful. It is clear Carver loved his father, and wanted to share him with the world, and he does it eloquently in this essay that is as much about him as it is about his father.
My Father's Life
Raymond Carver writes about his father's live in this moving essay, and he shows how different life can be for succeeding generations. Clearly, Carver is making his living doing something he loves, but he makes it clear his father was never that lucky. He writes, "I don't think he dreamed much. I believe he was simply looking for steady work at decent pay. Steady work was meaningful work" (Carver). Carver writes with love…… [Read More]
Serious Talk by Raymond Carver -- or, as Carver might have entitled this essay: "Although not much talking takes place, the story's theme certainly is serious."
From the beginning, Raymond Carver's short story, entitled, "A Serious Talk," engages in a play of inflated and deflated expectations from the reader's and the main characters' perspectives. There is a constant ironic tension between what the reader thinks will happen, and what is delivered by the tone and by the evolving plot of the story. The characters also have their expectations raised that something will happen to break the unhappy monotony of their lives, expectations that are quickly dashed. Irony may be defined "as a difference between the way something appears and what is actually true." Irony is created in the story "A Serious Talk" by the raising of the expectations of both the characters and the reader, followed by a subsequent deflation,…… [Read More]
realistic? Since a short story is a work of fiction, a product of the imagination, how does an author create the illusion that what is transpiring in the narrative seems 'realistic' to the reader? Why do some works of fiction seem more realistic than other works of fiction? The short story "A Small Good Thing" by Raymond Carver seems like a realistic work of fiction and thus is an excellent way to answer these questions. Carver's story tells the tale of a young boy who is hit by a car near the day of his birthday. It relates the effects this tragedy has upon the boy's parents. Through the use of extremely mundane but specific details, simple and action-oriented characterization of the major protagonists, and very simple and spare prose, Carver creates a sense of a realistic story, even though the end of the tale has a slightly surrealistic quality…… [Read More]
Most apparent of these symbols is the 'turning of the doorknob,' which signifies the impending death of the Mailman, being a cancer patient. Another symbol used in the poem is the Mailman himself, who embody the individual who have been the model of the modern, worldly society, but in the end succumbed to non- existence as he realized the meaninglessness of his life. Third symbol used in the poem is cancer itself, meant to function as the 'cancer of life,' mirroring people's lives, which remained meaningless and unfulfilled.
The speaker also utilized the continuous narrative as a technique to reflect the Mailman's attempt to give meaning to his life, identifying which among his streams of thought could give him an idea or the answer as to whether he lived a meaningful life or had a meaningful existence or not.
The poem also adopts a straightforward tone, illustrating the ordinariness and…… [Read More]
This essay is well-written and well-constructed. The writer refers to the primary source material liberally and provides in-text citations as well as a bibliography. However, the writer could use active voice more often. For example, the sentence "The use of different point-of-view for the narration of the story has great influence on how the elements of characterization and setting are presented" could be rewritten and presented in active voice: "...great influence on how the authors present elements of characterization and setting." The sentence that follows is also slightly clumsy and would be improved through using more parallel verb forms. It reads: "The first person narrative can use more direct characterization to establish the people in the story while the objective point-of-view relies on indirect interpretation." It could be changed to read: "The first person narrative uses direct characterization to establish the people in the story, while the objective point-of-view…… [Read More]
"I can hear you...I'm alright," he says, but at the end of the story he resumes his drinking again (Carver, 1989, p.274).
The significance of physicality in both stories is noteworthy, as it seems to reflect a distrust of language, rather than an embrace of language, as the characters communicate primarily though touching. Carver's prose has often been called minimalistic, a charge that he resisted. Yet Inez and Lloyd do not connect when they go for marital counseling, they do connect, if only briefly, when Inez must clean Lloyd's ears. The only time Lloyd can really hear is when his wife tries to reach him through physical rather than verbal gestures. The husband of "Cathedral" rages against blindness, but enters the blind man's world through the medium of touch, even after he has tried to exclude the blind man by turning on the TV.
hat is particularly important for an…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"
This is a short story that is told majorly from the eyes of a character referred to here as 'Bub' who is a husband to a woman who had a blind friend, Robert who comes to visit and the visit turns out to be a self search time for Bub and great revelation period for him.
The story employs strong use of symbolism as well as motifs to present the themes and the change of state of the mind of Bub as well as the mental disposition of Bub's wife. There is also exposition of the significance of some styles to the development of themes as well as the flow of the story.
The predominating theme of the story is self-reflection/search and sight verses vision. It is apparent that even though the Bub lives with the wife, he does not understand her needs and emotional state…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral" is narrated in the first person by the unnamed protagonist, and tells a deceptively simple story: the narrator's wife (also unnamed) has invited her former employer Robert, an older blind man recently widowed, to come for dinner and stay the night. The husband is resistant to the social occasion, but goes through with it -- although his narration makes us privy to his thoughts (which are occasionally marked by a low-level hostility) or else offers wry and laconic descriptions of his own statements and behavior. Eventually after consuming several scotches and some "dope you can reason with," the wife falls asleep on the sofa leaving the protagonist in conversation with the blind Robert, eventually leading to the muted but bittersweet conclusion of the story. Yet Carver carefully employs the first-person perspective of the narrator to demonstrate -- almost beyond his own self-awareness…… [Read More]
Cathedral - Raymond Carver
About the author
An American writer Raymond Carver has been writing stories on a smaller emotional scale for few years that creates same effects. Mostly his story settings contain American towns, semi-industrial, which are mostly depressed. However, his characters, working-class loners fighting for speech, from time to time find work as factory hands and waitresses, while his actions in the stories slip across the troubles of every day life and later on through some strange turn of chance or possibly a gloomy cause that in turns breakdown into unsuccessful marriages as well as shattered lives of all related to it. Similarly, mostly his stories leave his readers with shake that is similar to the beginning of a collapse (Literature: Contemporary).
Furthermore, the author of short stories has been typically a writer of strong but at the same time limited effects. He usually shapes and rotates his…… [Read More]
Cathedral, a story by Raymond Carver, there are three main characters: a husband, a wife, and the wife's blind, male friend. The story is told in the first person, from the point-of-view of the husband, and the mood and tone of the story is austere and tense.
At the beginning of the story, the character of the husband is hostile, and angry that the wife's blind friend is coming to visit. The husbands' anger seems out of proportion, and serves as an interesting foil to the wonder and kindness he exhibits at the end of the story. The husband has a strong prejudice against the blind. hen the two men are alone, the blind man touches the hand of the husband. At the touch, the husband changes, and he is able to empathise with the blind man. In short, the character of the husband grows, and becomes kinder and more…… [Read More]
Cathedral Raymond Carver
In his short story, Cathedral, author Raymond Carver argues that community and connection are an important component of life. The narrator begins the story as an isolated man, with few friends and little connection to the outside world. His insularity is upset by the arrival of his wife's friend, a blind man. Initially highly resistant to the blind man's intrusion into his world, the narrator gradually warms to the man through a meal and describing a television program. However, the narrator is not fully moved out of his insulated world until he and the blind man begin to draw a cathedral together. It is this experience that reinforces the importance of connection and community within Carver's Cathedral.
At the beginning of the story, the narrator is clearly isolated from the rest of the world. He sees the world in a defined, stereotypical way, avoids connections with other…… [Read More]
An Analysis of Theme and Plot in Carver's "Cathedral"
Raymond Carver states that by the mid-1960s he had tired of reading and writing "long narrative fiction" ("On riting" 46). Shorter fiction, he found, was more immediate. Flannery O'Connor states a similar idea in The Habit of Being: for her, the novel was a literary medium that could bog down all of one's creative powers. Turning to a short story was a way of escape: "My novel is at an impasse. In fact it has been at one for as long as I can remember. Before Christmas I couldn't stand it any longer so I began a short story. It's like escaping from the penitentiary" (O'Connor 127). This mode of thought may help us to understand why Carver turned to composing shorter works of fiction like "Cathedral," a work that acts as a brief glimpse into how one man's…… [Read More]
The story "The Bridle," for instance, tells about what could have turned out to be a family tragedy. However, written by Carver it becomes much stronger and more positive. After going bankrupt in agriculture, a family moves with its few belongings packed into a station wagon to a cheap apartment in a hotel somewhere in the Midwest. The narrator, who is the unfriendly and uncaring woman who runs the hotel, relates the story of what happens to the mother, Betty, and the horrible temporary jobs she takes to take care of her family.
One day at a drunken party at the hotel's pool, her husband, Holits, climbs to the roof of one of the units to jump into the water. Betty cries out, "What are you doing?" But he just stands there at the edge. He looks down at the pool, deciding how much he will have to run to…… [Read More]
As Bub found out, he cannot verbally convey the concept of cathedral to the blind man. He has to show him; he had no actually get down on his knees and speak the blind man's language. The narrator admits that he had to level with Robert: "my life depended on it."
Prior to his epiphany, Bub remained stubbornly prejudiced, believing such silly notions as "The blind didn't smoke because...they couldn't see the smoke they exhaled." The narrator's narrow world prevented him from viewing Robert as a person. Instead, all he saw was a stereotypical blind man. For example, Bub expected Robert to be wearing sunglasses and when he wasn't he was shocked. Similarly, the narrator seems to think that the blind man's beard is somehow out of place simply because Robert cannot see. The narrator's prejudices remain solidly in place until the conversation about the cathedral.
Bub is not a…… [Read More]
For instance, in the wife's poem, "she talked about what she had felt at the time, about what went through her mind when the blind man touched her nose and lips." The touching of the nose and lips is juxtaposed against the touching of emotions. Finally, the narrator achieves his epiphany via the sense of touch directly at the end of the story when Robert guides his hand towards a new level of insight. The narrator is literally and figuratively touched.
Finally, the literary elements converge to create irony. After all, the blind man possesses greater insight into the human condition than a sighted man. The blind man intuitively knows that the television is color instead of black and white -- not because he can see it with his eyes but because of what he senses from being around his hosts. The narrator's prejudices about the world are formed in…… [Read More]
aymond Carver's "Gazebo" to "what we talk about when we talk about love"
The entire theme is very much an existentialist one with both stories alluding to the meaninglessness of love, lust, alcoholism, boredom, and, running through it all, the futility of everything. Life equals death -- is perhaps even more than death, for whilst death denotes passivity and absence of negativity, life is full of these destructive elements of infidelity, despair, meaninglessness, and torpor.
In aymond Carver's "Gazebo," Duane and Holly, managers of a motel, are two aimless characters that, at one time, had higher dreams for their life. Duane, at least, is a college graduate, and from both Duane and Holly's action and speech, we get a clear impression that both feel cheated by their existence. They don't seem to do much. They receive free lodging and utilities and a small stipend. And both are hankering for more.…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver and Themes of Love
In the short story "hat e Talk About hen e Talk About Love" Raymond Carver deals with the theme of love. Through the characters and their interactions, Carver shows the emptiness of love and suggests that real love cannot be found. Carver also uses the setting to turn this story of two couples into a story making universal statements about the nature of love.
Terry's characters reveals a lot about the nature of love. Terry describes her former love interest Ed and presents him as an example of real love. She describes how Ed loved her so much that his love overwhelmed him. He was brutal and violent towards her and even tried to kill her. Even though these actions seem to be describing someone who does not really love someone, Terry believes the opposite. She believes that real love is so intense that…… [Read More]
And it is the tragedy of not knowing that Marin imagines in the story's last paragraph, when she envisions the family he left behind in Mexico as they "wonder, shrug, remember" the pretty boy who vanished and was "never heard from…again."
Cisneros arranges "Geraldo No Last Name" around two basic structural facts. One is the filtering of the story through Marin's consciousness, so that the subject of the story is not really Geraldo's brief life and death -- it is about what somebody like Marin thinks about when she contemplate somebody like Geraldo. And the second fact is, of course, the emphasis given to the different elements of what Marin considers: in some sense, the sad fact of Geraldo's death is subsidiary to the sad facts of his actual life as an illegal worker in a foreign country, who will die without ever seeing his family again. The fact that…… [Read More]
The symbolism is clear here, and it is troubling and terrible to the girl.
Finally, the girl and the boy have totally different reactions to the man and his situation. The girl feels sorry for him, and realizes she is witnessing something important, although she cannot find the words to express what that is. She dances with him, and feels an emotional connection with him, while the boy just gets drunk. He writes the check to buy the furniture, and has no other emotions about what is happening, it is not real, or it is not important to him. In that reaction, he could be very much like the drunken man as he grows older, and the girl may be witnessing her own future, which is even more frightening to her. The boy is kind of clueless about the situation, which is why he does not try to communicate about…… [Read More]
The narrator in "Reunion" has an optimistic understanding of life and feels that it would be impossible for him and his father not to have a good time going out. Even with the fact that he is aware of his father's drinking problem, he feels that their relationship is stronger than his father's need for alcohol and that they are probable to overcome their issues as a result of communicating. Alcohol is actually one of the reasons for which Charlie opens his eyes and sees the horrible truth regarding his father. It is then when he realizes that his father cannot get rid of his alcohol problem and that it would be best for him to avoid ever seeing him again.
Charlie virtually experiences rebirth as he sees his father drinking heavily and behaving aggressively. He realizes that this is who his father is and that this person is never…… [Read More]
career - how do his late stories differ from his early stories?
AYMOND CAVE'S WOK
aymond Carver wrote from the time he was a young man until his death at 50 in 1988. He wrote of his own experiences as an alcoholic, young father, and blue-collar worker. His writing was always classified as postmodern, however, as with most authors, his writing changed from his early work to his later works. "The surfaces of Carver's stories look calm and banal, but especially his portrayals of marriage problems are full of emotional tension, hidden memories, wounds, longing, hate, anxiety, and melancholy" (Liukkonen).
One of the contrasts between Carver's earlier works and his later works is in the minute detail of eating. In "The Idea," Carver's characters use eating as a substitute for communication, especially with those who they should be the most intimate. In "Cathedral" the baker tells the couple whose son…… [Read More]
Love is a word that is often overused and sometimes underappreciated. And despite the confusion some people have in separating romantic love from sensual pleasure, or real love from friendship -- love is among the most powerful ideas in the world. Given all the tension and hatefulness in the world, it is the opinion of this paper that any love is good love, no matter how bizarre or byzantine it may appear to society.
The widely diverse and dissimilar kinds of love that writer Raymond Carver alludes to in his short story simply reflect the vast chasm between one personality and the next. It may seem blatantly obvious to say this, but individual approaches to love -- and reflections on love -- are of course based on each person's life experiences. Bob Dylan wrote a song -- "Love is Just a Four-Letter ord" -- that has an ironic twist to…… [Read More]
It is through a horrible act of violence that the grandmother and we understand that things do not always work out as we plan and some stories do not have a happy ending.
In "Cathedral," Carver utilizes a less dramatic setting to convey a message to us. In this story, the narrator is uneasy about Robert's visit and does not know how to behave when they first meet. It is only through a conversation about cathedrals that allows the narrator to discover something about Robert and himself. The setting is significant because this is the place where the narrator and Robert meet and where the narrator has his epiphany.
The mood of the home changes from negative to positive.
Sight becomes significant in the story as well because that is what the entire story revolves around and that is what ultimately brings the two men closer. Because the…… [Read More]
Therefore, Johnson weaves clever and poignant paradoxes in the language as well as the overarching themes. The one-eyed man could have died or lost his good eye, as the Nurse points out. He survives unscathed, and sees what his wife forbade him to see. Likewise, Hardie could have faced immanent death in the war but he survives by going AOL. In both cases, subverting social convention is a key to liberation.
The paradox of religion is also conveyed via deft use of language. In "Cathedral," the title image represents the symbol of religious strivings. A cathedral is a house of God; but that house does not necessarily lead to spiritual awakening. On the contrary, the house in which the story takes place does become a zone of spiritual awakening. The blind man and the narrator use the ancient sacrament of cannabis to explore the real meaning of human existence, which…… [Read More]
The choice cannot be repudiated or duplicated, but one makes the choice without foreknowledge, almost as if blindly. After making the selection, the traveler in Frost's poem says, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back" (14-15). And at the end, as one continues to encounter different forks along the way, the endless paths have slim chance of ever giving the traveler a second choice. One can see this as similar to Mrs. Mallard's change. As she looks out into the future, she sees endless possibilities for choice and nothing feels like she would ever return to the determinate state of marriage.
The final two lines of "The Road Not Taken" say, "I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference" (19-20). Unlike in Chopin, the traveler determines to take the path. In Chopin, the path forces…… [Read More]
However, the narrator eventually comes to acknowledge his ignorance after the blind man presents him with matters as seen from his point-of-view. John 14:22 applies perfectly in this situation, considering that it promotes the concept that individuals are probable to express more appreciation toward the world as a whole and toward things that previously seemed uninteresting. James 3:16 also applies in this situation because it emphasizes that jealousy and selfish ambition are probable to disrupt the peace within a family. The narrator has trouble enjoying life to the fullest because he is jealous and envious with regard to his wife's friends.
"The Lottery" shows Mr. Adams as the first persons who draws a ticket during the lottery and it would be absurd for someone to consider that this does not stand as a reference to Adam as the first man that God created. The fact that Tessie Hutchinson refrains from…… [Read More]
So, in some case, leadership does not necessarily link with responsibility for the men, but rather with the relationship with the persons who are led. Napoleon was able to concentrate the energies of his men in a way that served his best interests.
This links with Raymond Carver's story, in the sense that good leadership is also about good communication, about the ability of passing the appropriate message. The main theme of his story is that of communication (or lack of), namely of finding the right words to pass on to the others. The right words are fundamental, because they help connect individuals and fostering this relationship is perhaps the most important part of good leadership.
The most important point in "Cathedral," from a leadership perspective, is when the husband finds himself at a loss of words when trying to describe the cathedral to Robert. He is, throughout the story…… [Read More]
Individual Knowledge and Power
19th century poet Emily Dickinson is famous for her writing about the sometimes odd quality of being human, or rather the unnatural social norms that humanity has constructed. Dickinson claims that "[m]uch Sense -- the starkest Madness -- / 'Tis the Majority," meaning that most people guide their lives through typical principles of an objective common sense. Despite the best efforts of the philosophers and statesmen who have fostered Western principles of common sense throughout the centuries, people are not mathematical certainties; and while general rules are essential to the well-being of the population, individual lives cannot be dictated by a standardized social formula. True human growth and progress is a journey often taken alone, in which a person has to develop his or her own ideas of right and wrong. This short essay examines three different ways individual knowledge and power is originated, fostered, and…… [Read More]
Leadership -- Power and Responsibilities / Integrity
hen it comes to the concept of "leadership" there are numerous definitions that can be applied. Every leader uses his or her own approach to leading, and while there are similar aspects to the behaviors of most leaders, how leaders approach their strengths is played out differently. In literature (like the blind man in Cathedral) and in real life (like the way Abraham Lincoln conducted himself in a political situation) leaders provide robust examples of how to get things done and how to influence the actions of others.
This paper uses the leadership styles and behaviors of several individuals to demonstrate their qualities (or, in the case of Jimmy Cross, lack of leadership qualities) as they lead -- and the paper points to the integrity the individuals showed in the process of their leadership.
Leadership and Integrity
Abraham Lincoln -- the subject today…… [Read More]
The existence of true love has been a debate among writers, authors, and philanthropists for years. There are many things in this world that we as people share together, but nothing else can bare, mend, or even heal like love. Every place we go and everything we see has in some point in time been touched by some form of love. It is through stories and poems that we indeed do find the existence of true love. I believe that stories and poems provide us with the necessary evidence to prove that true love does exist and we will analyze these poems and stories in the following work to indeed provide evidence of its existence. We find that true love does exist and it is real, when we analyze the writings of those who are most known for acknowledging it. In our world today, society explains love as…… [Read More]
Lesson Plan for 11th or 12th Grade English
(Using Literature to Teach a Language Concept)
To introduce the concept of denotative and connotative meanings in language and illustrate the concept through literature.
Objectives (aligned with standards) - Students will be able to explain the difference between denotative and connotative meaning in language and recognize which is which (2.A.4d). Students will read age-appropriate material with fluency and accuracy (1.B.4c). Students will learn to look for denotative and connotative meaning in literature (2.A.4d). Students will look up the meaning of words in the dictionary.
Students will follow complex oral instructions (4.A.4c). Students will strengthen interpersonal communication skills through small group discussion (4.B.4b). Students
will use questions and predictions to guide reading (1.C.4a). Students will explain and justify an interpretation of a text (1.C.4b). Students will analyze how the author uses denotative and connotative meaning in the text to express and emphasize his…… [Read More]
Furthermore, Miss Dent never achieves any real violence in Cheever's story, which raises serious questions as to her true level of agency -- especially in a work by Cheever (Facknitz 346). Even the appearance that she is somehow the more active of the two major characters in the story, as well as her sense of control, are misleading to one degree or another. Blake manages to dodge and avoid her for quite some time; he is not docile or impotent, but rather acts out of expediency -- and fear, yes, but the fear leads to the expediency -- in eventually doing as he is told. Miss Dent has actually been far more at his mercy than she his, and even her actions in the story were caused by him.
In this light, Miss Dent must be seen as a foil to Mr. Blake, and not the other way around. She…… [Read More]
Ann Beattie is a short story told in a series of flashbacks. It is narrated by a woman remembering a winter she spent in a house with a former lover. The story is evocative and nostalgic, but also is filled with a sense of sorrow, regret, and foreboding. Even the actions the woman and her lover perform together, like painting a room, underline the transience of their united state. Beattie's narrator is afraid that the grapes of the wallpaper will come popping through the paint, undoing their paint job. A wild chipmunk runs lose through the house, and like the lovers, the chipmunk is a symbolic transgressor in the house, an outsider.
At the end of the story, when the narrator returns, she feels sorrow when she sees flowers popping up in the ground. Seasons change and people grow apart. The flowers should be seen as signs of new life,…… [Read More]
Irony in "Soldier's Home" -- Irony is a device used by writers to let the audience know something that the characters in the story do not know. There is usually a descrepancyt between how things appear and the reality of the situation. Often the characters do not seem aware of any conflict between appearances and the reality, but the audience or reader is aware of the conflict because the writer has used irony in the story. Whatever the emotion of the story is, irony heightens it.
There is a strong element of irony in Ernest Hemingway's painful story "Soldier's Home." Harold, who served in the Army in World War I on the bloodiest battlefields, comes home too late to be welcomed as a hero. We know he needed to be treated as a hero (because he makes up lies about himself) but the townsfolk and his parents do not. While…… [Read More]
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
"E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial" has entered the pantheon of American pop culture in such a way that any film critic approaching it has to declare his or her bias up front: it is as hard to be objective about "E.T." As it is about "The izard of Oz" or the original "Toy Story." It seems embarrassing to use the tools of serious film criticism on something like "E.T." simply because most people have an instinctive sense that children are actually fairly tough critics, and that anything that is so universally acclaimed as children's entertainment as Steven Spielberg's 1982 science fiction masterpiece can't really be a serious movie, simply because it happens to be slick and professional. But revisiting "E.T." is also a useful way for anyone with an interest in serious film criticism to watch a film that actually works. "E.T." is actually a remarkably effective film, in…… [Read More]
Character Analysis: Cathedral Narrator
The objective of this study is to present an argument that the narrator in 'Cathedral' is a complex and sympathetic character and to consider the extent to which he seems unaware with his own limitations despite being incapable of articulating that unhappiness. The narrator in the work of Raymond Carver entitled "Cathedral" is a complex and sympathetic character who is unaware of his own limitations and essentially unhappy even though he is incapable of articulating that unhappiness and learns from a blind man that unless one is aware of their limitations that those limitations cease to exist. The work 'Cathedral' is about a visit paid by a blind man to his friend, the wife of the narrator, following the death of the blind man's wife. While the wife greatly anticipates the visit of the blind man, the husband and narrator of 'Cathedral' has a great…… [Read More]
Poem -- Version 1: "next to of course god america i"
"next to of course god america i" E.E. Cummings
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Short Writing: Paraphrasing a scene from a play
Short Fiction -- John Updike -- "A&P"
Short Writing: Describing a Poem
Short Writing: Paraphrasing a scene from a play
Short Story - Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Short Story - A Good Man Is Hard to Find
In my literary analysis essays, I have endeavored to discover why I thought an author wrote a particular piece, how they think about their work, and why they made the choices they did with regard to theme, character development, and use of literary devices. I have also attempted to make my own perspective transparent in my writing, and through this effort,…… [Read More]
Great leadership, this is a trait most people do not have. Among the many leaders of the world present and past, only a few could be deemed great. That is why the literary world becomes a place to cultivate what an ideal leader is. From Robert the blind man in “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, to “The Things They Carried” character, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, these leaders harken back to real leaders of the past like Lincoln and Kennedy. It is with these shining examples in mind that an idea of what a great leader is, takes shape and even provides inspiration for new leaders that break the mold of what is typically expected like Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. These new leaders will perhaps inspire the greats of tomorrow.
Many consider John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln amazing leaders because of their ability to stand up for what is right…… [Read More]
Feathers" what's so special about the night the narrator describes? hy did everything change afterwards?
The change that starts with at the end of the story is the request from Fran to have a baby. Jack obliges and they end up having a kid. It would seem that Fran made this request as a way to seek better feelings or perhaps a sense of something different as a result. hile things did change, it was not for the better. Fran quit working and became overweight. In addition, she cut her hair. Fran also starts to talk less after the baby comes and the "change" sets in. In short, Fran sought out the baby as a way to change things for the better but there were underlying issues with Fran and Jack that were made worse, not better, by the appearance of the child. This stands in contrast to Bud and…… [Read More]
" As the kitchen gets darker, things move slower and people are more intoxicated. The symbolism is obvious in this story.
A reader could be forgiven if he or she shouted, "ould someone please shed some light on love, on relationships, on truth and dignity in this story and stop babbling through the gin!"
In the hite Elephant story -- as in the other two stories -- there is no resolution, no solution, readers don't know if the woman has her baby, or decides to do what the man wants, have the abortion. But light is important in this story too. The mountains looked like white elephants. There was "no shade and no trees" so the visual is focused on bright light. Shrill light, but there is not much light shed on the real difficult decision facing the couple. There is a lot of talking around the issue. "Let's try…… [Read More]
Leonard Michaels' "Murderers"
In my opinion, the story "Murderers" by Leonard Michaels is not just a story about five boys' obsession with watching the rabbi share intimate moments with his wife; it is a powerful story about one boy's experience with escapism and how that escapism, through tragedy, resulted into his coming of age. By consciously selecting certain details seen through the eyes of a young boy, Michaels presents the exhilarating and devastating events of a single day in a refreshing way.
From the beginning of the story, the narrator, Phillip, seems to be distracted with death, which is an important theme in the story, though it always seems to be in the back ground of the story. Phillip expresses he wants to escape death. This is implied in his statement that he "didn't want to wait for it" (Carver 339) and it also indicates that he is eager to…… [Read More]
Nutrigenomics is an important field of study. It finds in roots in modern times, because of the direct relation to advances in science and technology. Nutrigenomics also straddles the nature vs. nurture divide. The publication of the relatively preliminary results of the Human Genome has given greater impetus to the idea of Nutrigenomics. One might assuredly say that the publication of the Human Genome is preliminary because the current versions of the genome are merely representatives of a very select group of individuals. (Lander et al., 2001; Venter et al., 2001) What makes individuals unique of course is the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. It is these SNPs that give each of us our individuality. Hence each individual's genome is his or her genotype. A genotype is an individual's genome -- the genetic coding that identifies the character traits that govern existence. In the context of Nutrigenomics, a…… [Read More]
. . "
"I don't recall having sold the house," Ned said, "and the girls are at home."
In the narration Ned continues on his journey home. Once he is home it is revealed that his house is indeed empty and his wife and daughters are gone. This is just one example of the conflict that exist in this narration between was is reality and what is illusion.
In addition to this aspect of conflict in The Swimmer, there is also a great deal of conflict associated with Ned's ability to swim across the county. This conflict exist because Ned also drank strong alcoholic beverages throughout his journey. It would have been next to impossible for him to swim after he had consumed just a few of these drinks. This is an obvious conflict that would have hindered his journey but the author presents it as fact and not…… [Read More]
In this light. Dee represents the most successful fulfillment of the material side of the American Dream (Whitsitt). On the other hand, she is unsuccessful at preserving what is most beautiful about her culture by no longer honoring it in any practical sense. In this, she represents the tragedy of loss in terms of meaning, culture, and heritage in blind pursuit of material gain and social success.
The Red Convertible" by Louise Erdrich
The story by Louise Erdrich similarly demonstrates a dichotomy between the past, the potential of the future, and the scars that cannot be healed as a result of trauma and tragedy. The American Dream and its destruction in this story is represented by two brothers and their initially healthy relationship (boosh). As young men, Henry and Lyman are happy-go-lucky and somewhat irresponsible. Their relationship is healthy and close, represented by a red convertible that they buy restore,…… [Read More]
Good Man is Hard to Find
For the purposes of this essay, I chose Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." "A Good Man is Had to Find" is an apt topic for research such as this, because the ambiguity of the story's position regarding a grandmother ultimately responsible for the death of her entire family leads to a wide variety of possible readings, each with its own adherents and defenders. Upon reading this story, I immediately questioned the grandmother's role in the story, and especially whether or not the story portrayed her in a positive or negative light, because although at points in the story she appears positive in contrast to the other characters, she is ultimately shown to be reactive, shortsighted, and altogether incapable of protecting either her family or herself. Using Google Scholar, I searched for academic essays and books discussing "A Good…… [Read More]
Conflict Between Exterior and Interior Life
Kate Chopin's "The story of an Hour" offers a story behind a story. First it can be noted that this talks about Mr. And Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard received a news that her husband has just died. This prompted for a roller coaster of emotions to build inside her heart and mind.
First, she felt sadness. She was saddened by the fact that she is now alone and that her husband will no longer be with her. But the feeling of sadness did not stay for long in Mrs. Mallard's heart because she suddenly realized that she is now free. The death of her husband would mean that nobody will hurt her anymore. Because her husband is dead, nobody will discriminate her anymore. Nobody will make her feel that she is just a low or second class citizen. Nobody will prevent her from doing…… [Read More]
Kate is said to have escaped the romance with Albert Sampite by fleeing Cloutierville to go and live with her mother in St. Louis. Marianne also refuses to be dependent of any man after "having been someone else's other for so long" and, as such, "she now rejects any realm of patriarchal dominance and chooses, instead, herself." (Martin 73-74). It is possible that Chopin would have wanted the same thing. However, we know she sold her home in Cloutierville only many years after she moved with her mother, so chances are she might have gone back to meet with Sampite throughout the years. But there really is no conclusive evidence to support such a fact.
hat we can observe is that Kate Chopin's characters often seem to resemble her own desire for personal freedom anticipated in a journey that starts right from the moment when women are able to set…… [Read More]