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Analysis of Raymond Carver's Cathedral

            Although Bub narrates his own story, he does not put himself in a good light. He comes off as glib, shallow and immature. His snide comments depict someone unwilling to look beyond stereotypes for a deeper understanding of people or circumstances. This is most obvious in his thoughts about blind people. My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to.
             Carver illustrates Bub's rejection of intimacy in a variety of ways. First, he doesn't challenge his wife's assertions that he has no friends probably because he agrees with that assessment. He is also emotionally estranged from any self-reflection, as indicated by his near pathological need to mock or disparage almost everything. This seems like a defense mechanism employed to mask his personal insecurities and discomfort with intimacy. As long as he wisecracks, he sidesteps all opportunities for introspection or to acknowledge his own longing for emotional connectedness. Every night I smoked dope and stayed up as long as I could before I fell asleep. My wife and I hardly ever went to bed at the same time. This passage reveals Bub's emotionally and physically estrangement from his wife. When Bub searches for paper, we realize that they cohabitate without sharing a life or even a bedroom. Their exchanges are frosty and most of Bub's remarks seem designed to annoy her, such as when he suggests taking Robert bowling. Not once does Bub refer to his spouse by name; she is merely "my wife" the same way his home is "my house." She is merely something he owns. He is derisive about her poetry (I didn't think much of the poem) and flippant about her prior marriage (this man who'd first enjoyed her favors). .
             Bub harbors resentment about his wife's relationship with Robert but attributes it to Robert's handicap and his being an unwanted guest in his home.

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