The Baker’s Dilemma: Status in “A Small, Good Thing”

In Raymond Carver’s short story “A Small, Good Thing,” the Baker’s helplessness is caused by his apparent class status and by an unknown financial stability, which results in a sense of isolation and loneliness. The baker resolves his sense of helplessness when he realizes that all classes experience the unknown through his connection with Ann … Read moreThe Baker’s Dilemma: Status in “A Small, Good Thing”

The Consequences of Loneliness: Short Fiction by Carver and Hood

Raymond Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing” follows the story of a family that tragically loses their son in a car accident. After the son’s death the parents continually receive phone calls from the baker of their son’s birthday cake, enraging the grieving parents. Mary Hood’s “How Far She Went” portrays a young and rebellious girl … Read moreThe Consequences of Loneliness: Short Fiction by Carver and Hood

Raymond Carver’s Cathedral of Irony

Raymond Carver’s preferred method of delivering information to readers in his short story “Cathedral” is one that is entirely coherent with the underlying theme of the impact of alienation and isolation upon those who fail to master the art of communicating with others. Carver employs a technique of storytelling in which everything that can be … Read moreRaymond Carver’s Cathedral of Irony

Sweet Poison: The Use of Intoxication in Carver’s Short Stories

In Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, humans are described as exhibiting three types of coping mechanisms in order to relieve themselves of the suffering that they experience. One of these mechanisms is intoxication: to intoxicate one’s self with various physical substances in order to become inebriated. In Raymond Carver’s short stories, intoxication (drinking, in this … Read moreSweet Poison: The Use of Intoxication in Carver’s Short Stories

Epiphanies of ‘Ugly’ Mrs. Turpin and the ‘Blind’ Narrator

Both Mrs. Turpin in Flannery O’Conner’s Revelation and the narrator in Raymond Craver’s Cathedral hold prejudiced worldviews. However, Mrs. Turpin is religious and expresses her self-satisfied thoughts openly, while the narrator dismisses others because he does not believe in anything. Both characters need to be saved by epiphanies, yet their distinct natures shape how each … Read moreEpiphanies of ‘Ugly’ Mrs. Turpin and the ‘Blind’ Narrator

Metaphors of Blindness in “Cathedral”

In Raymond Carver’s short story, “Cathedral,” the close-minded speaker is forced to spend a civil evening with a blind man. Initially, the narrator despises the blind community. However, after interacting and connecting with the blind man in the story, the speaker finds himself with a transformed opinion. He discovers the blind man’s immense and unique … Read moreMetaphors of Blindness in “Cathedral”

Blind Freeing the Blind: Transcendence in “Cathedral”

Rarely does a story portray self-discovery and personal enlightenment as honestly and tenaciously as Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral.” This story depicts the encounter between an initially close-minded narrator and a free-thinking blind man. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that both characters need each other in order to evolve and attain fresh perspectives. Carver achieves … Read moreBlind Freeing the Blind: Transcendence in “Cathedral”