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by Raymond Carver

Cathedral Versions of Reality Quotes

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

Quote #1

My idea of blindness came from the movies. (1.1)

This line signals us that the story is concerned with how people form opinions and acquire knowledge from popular culture. It also cautions against generalizations. There is no "typical" blind person any more than there is a typical sighted person.

Quote #2

On her last day in the office, the blind man asked if he could touch her face. (1.2)

Ironically, the image of a blind person touching a person's face to see what the person looks like is a popular one in movies, TV, and even stories (like this one). Carver is drawing from these sources in creating his portrait of Robert, and reminding us that "Cathedral" is a story.

Quote #3

"Are you crazy?" my wife said. "Have you flipped or something?" She picked up a potato. I saw it hit the floor then roll under the stove. (1.12)

She isn't far from the truth. Jealousy, insecurity, and communication problems distort the narrator's reality. His distorted reality makes his wife angry, and makes her husband seem like a more closed-minded person than he actually is.

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