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Note to the Reader

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

"Cathedral" is extremely light on symbols, imagery, and allegory. So, don't worry if you're having some trouble coming up with anything. In a postmodern work, the surface is often the most important thing. In this case, everything is right in front of us, if we can adjust our vision to see it. For example, the woman's pink robe and slippers are things that help her feel comfortable. If we think about them, they have value and meaning in their own right. They aren't part of an intricate scheme of symbols that we have to unlock before we can understand the story. The possible exception is the cathedral. It's hard not to treat that one like a symbol, even though Carver says it isn't. So, we talk about it a little in this section, with links to other parts of the module that discuss it. We also look at some clusters of different kinds of things we see in the story, and how these are used in the story.

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