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by Raymond Carver

Cathedral Marriage Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)

Quote #1

On another tape, she told him about her divorce. (1.5)

The narrator makes a point of telling us that his wife was married to another man before him, but he doesn't say a word about what he was doing before he met his wife. Is this significant? Why or why not?

Quote #2

"If you love me" she said, "you can do this for me. If you don't love me, okay. (1.7)

Ouch. The old ultimatum. The narrator's wife sounds a little manipulative here, but judging from the narrator's behavior, she has to be drastic to get any point across. The fact that she doubts his love in the first place is a big clue that the marriage is in trouble.

Quote #3

"Besides, […] goddamn it, his wife just died. Don't you understand that? The man's lost his wife!" (1.9)

We can see how important Robert is to her here, but there might also be something else going on. If her husband can't sympathize with a man who just lost his wife, does that mean he wouldn't care if his own wife died? Of course not, but if she's already feeling unloved, this might explain her strong reaction.

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