Guests, Wanted And Unwanted In Carver's Cathedral And Hell-Heaven

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Guests, Wanted and Unwanted A guest is a very important variable in any storyline. With the inclusion of a guest in the stories “Cathedral” and “Hell-Heaven”, the authors allow for an interesting clash of character between the hosts and the guests. How the hose receives their guest will be the first topic of this essay. Robert is a “late forties, heavy-set, balding man with stooped shoulders, as if he carried a great weight there” (Carver 95). Robert had worked with the narrator’s wife ten years prior to the planned visit to their house. Upon hearing the news that he’d have a visitor, the narrator becomes very irritated in his mannerisms and dialogue. Right in the beginning body of text he voices his opinion on the visit saying…show more content…
This experience loosened the bad vibes and created a sense of togetherness between all three characters. As the night passed by and the narrators wife had fallen asleep, the narrator asks Robert if he’d like to go to bed and Robert reply’s “No, I’ll stay up with you, bub. If that’s all right. I’ll stay up until you’re ready to turn in. We haven’t had a chance to talk. Know what I mean? I feel like me and here monopolized the evening” leading the narrator to say “That’s all right, I’m glad for the company” (Carver 98). For the narrator to make such a confession is his first verbal acknowledgment that he is enjoying Robert’s visit and put his first preconceptions behind himself. The climax of the story, closer to the end is when the narrator and Robert share an experience together that is their ultimate bonding as acquaintances. As they watch T.V. together, Robert first asks the narrator to describe what a cathedral looks like to him but when the narrator cannot do so; Robert suggests that he and the narrator should draw a picture of one together. “Blind and sighted people use many of the same devices in sketching their surroundings, suggesting that vision and touch are closely linked” (Kennedy). Portrayed as a powerful moment, Robert and the narrator converse back and forth as he draws the cathedral…”Never though anything like this could happen in your lifetime, did you, bub? Well, it’s a strange life, we all know that. Go on now. Keep it up (Carver 101). As the story closes, the narrator comes to terms with his blind visitor by closing his eyes and keeping them that way for a period of
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