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by Raymond Carver

Cathedral Theme of Marriage

"Cathedral" features a married couple and recent widower who come together for an evening. The unnamed narrator and his wife are having big problems, and the outcome of the evening just might determine whether they have a future together or not. The theme of "Marriage" in this story is closely tied to "Language and Communication," so be sure to check out that theme as well.

Questions About Marriage

  1. From the information given, what impression do you have of the marriage between the narrator and his wife?
  2. Why does the narrator mean when he thinks, "Pathetic" (1.16) after summarizing his wife's account of Robert and Beulah's marriage?
  3. Do you think the marriage between the narrator and his wife will get better, worse, or stay the same after tonight?
  4. Does the narrator love his wife? Does she love him? Try to find evidence in the text for your answer.

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Robert's interaction with the narrator will have a positive impact on the narrator's marriage.

"Cathedral" realistically depicts the problems many married couples face.

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