The events described in "Cathedral" take place on a single night, yet we see a variety of transformations. Some of these might seem fairly common – from sober to intoxicated, sleeping to waking, hungry to full, and the like. Something about Carver's simple prose helps us feel the importance of these seemingly small and usual changes. But "Cathedral" doesn't stop there. The night in question is a sort of crossroads for the three main characters. Before they come together for the evening, we know that someone or something has to change or someone is likely to get hurt. Fortunately, change does occur, and in a beautiful and unexpected way. By the end of the tale, all the characters will experience dramatic change, and even renewed vision. "Cathedral" explores the possibility of positive transformation through creative communication.
The narrator and Robert are transformed by mutual kindness.
The woman's insistence that Robert be made to feel at home encourages the narrator to transform his outlook.