Differing Point of View in “Cathedral and Teenage Wasteland” The success of stories depends on how the readers are going to accept their stories and the most important issue is to attract the reader’s attention. This depends on how the writer uses the point of view. We can clearly see the point of view in “Teenage Wasteland” and “Cathedral”, perfectly used and with a little malice since it catches the reader’s attention and cannot take the eyes away from them. The story Teenage Wasteland by Anne Tyler is about a family having problems with their older son Donny who is trouble child. The story ends by Donny running away from his house. This story reveals a lack of communication, feelings of inadequacy, and lack of parental control. Raymond Carver’s short story, “Cathedral,” portrays a story that many of us can identify with today. In the story we see a man which seems to be disconcerted, unhappy, and disturbed. The man, who seems to be a direct portrayal of Raymond Carver himself, shows his ignorance by stereotyping a blind man by the name of Robert, who was visiting his wife. From the very beginning, the narrator shows his abomination for Robert. However, later on Bub gets comfortable with him and in the end is taught a lesson from the very one he detested. In both stories we can see the effectiveness of the usage of point of view; even thought, they are different they help both stories to be successful in many ways. Point of view is an important part of every story; we can say it helps determine the effectiveness of each story. There are so many kinds of point of view such as 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person, limited omniscient, omniscient, and objective point view. What it is point of view? Well, “point of view is to identify the narrator of a story, describing any part he or she plays in the events and any limits placed on his or her knowledge” (pg 24). In other words point of view is the perspective from which the story is being narrated or told. The point of view is associated with the experience of the narrator, not of the author since we can never confuse the narrator with the author. The author is the one who writes the story and narrator the one who tells the story. We might think in each story only one point of view can be used. However, “it is usual for the writer to maintain one point of view from beginning to end, but there is nothing to stop him or her from introducing other points of view as well” (pg 24). The usually types of point of view which are usually used in short stories are the First Person and the Third Person. The First Person point of view is usually a major character or a minor character who explicitly refers to him or herself in the first. This method we can see on “Cathedral”. Moreover, the third person tells the story as narrator could only describe events which could be perceived by a viewpoint character. The author of “Teenage Wasteland” uses this method. In the story “Teenage Wasteland” we can see the narrator uses the 3rd person point of view, since the story is told from the point of view of the narrator and sometimes goes to the mind of the Daisy, Donny’s mother. We can also say the story is told by the limited omniscience point of view. “Limited point of view is when a nonparticipation narrator sees events through the eyes of a single character, whether a major character or a minor one” (pg 25). This single character is Daisy; there are some times when the narrator expresses Daisy feelings. The effectiveness of point of view in this “Teenage Wasteland” is exceptional because it attracted the reader’s attention. For example when I started to read I really didn’t know who was narrating the story so that captured me a lot and I wanted just to keep reading. Moreover, it is also effective because of the way the narrator chooses to tell the story since he sometimes goes to the mind of Daisy in one way he sees the story from the eyes of her. I think telling the story from Daisy’s point of view was the best way to tell it since she knew Donny the best and was around him a lot. Cal, Matt, and Donny's sister weren't there that often so it would be hard to tell the story from their point of view. It was a good choice somebody besides Donny tells the story. If it had been Donny, I think the story would have been mangled because he was very upset and he wouldn't see things in an objective way, he would probably say things, which would benefit him. Daisy has an objective point of view that leans toward Donny, but she is far enough away from Donny's point of view the story is not one sided. In both stories we learn a lesson, in Cathedral we learn to not judge people and see them inferior than us since one day we can be surprise because they can teach us a life’s lesson. In Teenage Wasteland we learn about how families can fall apart and learn how to solve those problems. The story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is narrated in the 1st person point of view since the narrator says what he thinks, feels, and sees. In this case the 1 st person is Bob. One of the most interesting features of "Cathedral" is Carver's construction of the narrative point of view since the story is told by who is a selfish, insecure, condescending, and ignorant person. We can clearly see the narrator is not an articulate man; consequently, the narration is filled with gaps the reader must fill in. In spite of the fact the narrator controls what information the reader has, Carver provides plenty of clues to the personality of the narrator so we can understand better the story and the narrator. By reading the story, clearly we can determine issues about the narrator and any remaining hidden events to himself. This is why the point of view of the story is so successful. At one point we can imagine the narrator is Carver since Bob can be a direct portrayal of Raymond Carver himself. From the very beginning, Bob shows his abomination for Robert but over the course of the story eases into comfort with him and in the end is taught a lesson from the very one he despised. The choice of Carver of choosing this point of view was perfect since the story would be different if it had been the wife or Robert the ones who narrate the story. The story would have been distorted if it was told by the wife since she was conformist, lonely and isolated. She would probably narrate the story in a way that she could be seen as the victim. Moreover, the effectiveness of using Bob as the one who narrates the story is perfect since he is the one who has issues; therefore, attracts the readers since we are interested in neurotic persons. Cathedral ends with hope, which in contrary to Teenage Wasteland since there Donny escapes from his house and never come back. Although in Cathedral there is no proof the narrator overcomes his isolation and loneliness, for the moment, the blindness that separates the narrator from Robert in the beginning of the story brings them together in the end. At the beginning of the story this would be difficult to believe since he was a lonely and pessimistic person. Overall, point of view plays and important role in every story since is about how the story is going to be narrated. There are many types of point of view the stories can be told. We can clearly see the point of view in “Cathedral” and “Teenage Wasteland” helps both stories to be successful and fascinating. “Teenage Wasteland” seems to be so realistic since his tone is like “real life”. In Cathedral, Carver has the astuteness to write in the 1st person. I recommend everyone to read both stories since they are exceptional and teach life lessons.
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