Raymond Carver's Use Of Imagery In Cathedral

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Imagery in Fiction Writing Authors often use imagery as a powerful tool for describing and delivering their main point in fiction writing. Imagery can hint at an underlying meaning, let the reader know character traits, describe the setting, and has a host of other uses. As such it is one of the most important literary devices. Two excellent examples of how to use imagery properly are Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby” and Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”. In both of these stories the authors use imagery to help drive home their main points, although in a somewhat different manner. In “Desiree’s Baby" Chopin uses imagery to hint at the “truth” and lead up to the ironic ending. While in Carver’s “Cathedral” imagery is used to reinforce his main theme of don’t judge a book by its cover. Now we will take a closer look at imagery, and examine the intricacies of how these great authors use it in their works. So what is imagery? Imagery is, in essence, the ability to experience something through one of the five senses mentally without experiencing it physically. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “[m]ental imagery is a familiar aspect of most people's everyday experience. A few people may insist that they rarely, or even never, consciously experience imagery, but for the vast majority of us, it is a familiar and…show more content…
Through these descriptions Chopin is giving the reader a visualization of Armand and Desiree, some much more obvious than others, but the reader is still totally in the dark as to why until the very end. Consequently the reader pays little attention to it and many are thinking that they are both white through most of the story. This use of imagery aids Chopin in setting up the heavily ironic ending that she wants to achieve. It is not until then that the true importance of this imagery is revealed when the truth about their skin color comes

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