Raymond Carver is said to be one of the most influential American short-story writer and poet in the second half of 20th century, a major force in the revival of the short story in the 1980s (Kennedy, X. J. and Gioia, Dana, 2005). In this essay, we aim to analyze the main characteristics of short story which can be found and applied in Carver's well-known short story Cathedral. The short story Cathedral was included in Best American Short Stories, 1982. It is the final story in Carver's collection Cathedral published in 1983. With its publication he finally received the critical praise he had longed for. Cathedral is generally considered to be one of Carver's finest works. The book was also Pulitzer Prize nominated book. The story is narrated in first person and is about a blind man who is coming to visit the narrator and his wife. The narrator does not realize how much the blind man means to his wife and he does not anticipate his arrival, but by the end of the story the narrator has an epiphany and "sees." So a blind man wants to learn what the architecture of a cathedral suggests? Here it is, the story says: what you have is what there is; take it or leave it; if you are blind, he will help you feel your way through, but never as a direction to meaning, only to an apprehension of the facts (Jerome, Wallace. 2007: 2827). Consequently, we found it interesting to analyze the story literarily and support our discussion with evidences from the context and the critical opinions about Carver and his works.
Born in Clatskanie, Oregon, Raymond Carver in 1938, at the age of three with his parents moved to Yakima, Washington, where his father found a work as a sawmill worker. In his early years Carver worked briefly at a lumber mill and at other unskilled jobs, including a stint as a tulip-picker (Kennedy, X. J. and Gioia, Dana, 2005). Carver was the son of a sawmill worker.