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Aldous Huxley
          Aldous Huxley
• English writer
• 1894-1963
• Best known for his novels, poetry, essays,
  philosophy, and travel writing
• a humanist and pacifist
• in some academic circles, a leader of modern
  thought and an intellectual of the highest
           Major works
• Brave New World
• Eyeless In Gaza
• Point Counter Point
Travel Writing: Beyond the Mexique Bay
Essays: Gray Eminence
• 1. Is it the first time Monsieur and Madame
• 2. What kind of life has Sophie been living? Is
  she in good health?
• 3. How does Madame look like?
• 4. For what reason do the couple quarrel?
• 5. How does Madame treat Sophie?
• 6. What is the symbolic meaning of the title?
•wealthy but not good-looking
•romantic but blind in choosing life partner
•educated but emotional (losing his temper)
•old and disagreeable
•oppressed and miserable
•Good-looking & Self-centered
•Vanity-admiring/ Hypocritical
•Idle /Lazy
• Falseness & Vanity
• Oppression & exploitation
              New Words
•   Indignant angry
•   Ominous foreshadowing evil
•   Squabble argue over petty things
•   Heed pay close attention to
•   Amorous inclined toward or displaying love
•   Enervated lacking strength or vigor
•   Grotesque abnormal and hideous
              New Words
•   Grimace a contorted facial expression
•   Wobble move sideways or in an unsteady way
•   Dodder walk unsteadily
•   Shudder tremble as from fear or excitement
•   Aggrieved cause to feel sorrow, annoyed
•   Marquis nobleman

Raymond Carver
• American short-story writer and poet
• 1938-1988
• PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES (1974), first
  collection of short stories
  established his reputation and introduced his
  central themes
• the quiet desperation of the white- and blue-
  collar workers, salesmen, waitresses, and their
  sense of betrayal and unableness to express
• Things are frequently left unspoken and
  conflicts unresolved, and the meaning of the
  story is only revealed through implications.
• often placed in the realistic tradition of
  Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway and its
  post-modern version, called minimalism(简约派).
1. Try to describe the relation among “me”,
    “my”wife, Robert and the officer.
2. Try to show your idea about Robert and his
    wife after you read their story in Para 4, P10.
    What is “my” feeling after I knew that?
3. What is the symbolic meaning of “Cathedral”
    as the topic?
                   Plot Summary
• The story’s narrator informs the readers that a friend of his
  wife’s, a man who happens to be blind, is on his way to visit.
  The narrator is not enthusiastic about the visit because blind
  people make the narrator uncomfortable, mainly because the
  narrator has no real experience with the blind.
• In addition to his uneasiness with the blind, the narrator is
  uncomfortable with his wife’s relationship with the blind man.
  The wife and Robert, the blind man, have maintained a close
  relationship via tape recordings mailed back and forth, and
  the narrator finds this unsettling. Despite the narrator’s
  feelings about the visit, Robert shows up, and the three of
  them dine together, and Robert and the narrator get to know
  each other.

The Narrator
• The unnamed narrator of the story is insecure, close-
  minded, and lacks communication skills at the
  beginning of the story.
• jealous of his wife's friendship with the blind man.
• He is unhappy in his work and isolated from others.
  According to his wife, he has no friends.
•the blind man, a long-time friend of the
narrator’s wife.
•maintained a close relationship with the
narrator’s wife
•patient, kind man
•well-traveled and well-educated
•pleasant and outgoing
The Wife
The narrator’s wife, who is also unnamed, plays
a secondary role in the action of the story, since
she falls asleep while her husband and Robert
talk. Readers are given some of the wife’s
background, learning that she was married
before, has attempted suicide, and has trouble
communicating with her husband.
• Ignorance through the first person narrator’s
  journey from insecurity to openness. The
  narrator begins as close-minded and fearful of
  what he does not understand; as the story
  progresses, he begins to have his eyes
  opened, ironically with the help of a blind
• alienation and loneliness
• The Difference between Looking and Seeing
• The cathedral that the narrator draws with Robert represents
  true sight, the ability to see beyond the surface to the true
  meaning that lies within. Before the narrator draws the
  cathedral, his world is simple: he can see, and Robert cannot.
  But when he attempts to describe the cathedral that’s shown
  on television, he realizes he doesn’t have the words to do so.
  More important, he decides that the reason he can’t find
  those words is that the cathedral has no meaning for him and
  tells Robert that he doesn’t believe in anything. However,
  when he takes the time to draw the cathedral—to really think
  about it and see it in his mind’s eye—he finds himself pulled
  in, adding details and people to make the picture complete
  and even drawing some of it with his eyes closed. When the
  drawing is finished, the narrator keeps his eyes shut, yet what
  he sees is greater than anything he’s ever seen with his eyes
• Carver isn’t specific about exactly what the
  narrator realizes, but the narrator says he
  “didn’t feel like he was inside anything”—he
  has a weightless, placeless feeling that
  suggests he’s reached an epiphany. Just as a
  cathedral offers a place for the religious to
  worship and find solace, the narrator’s
  drawing of a cathedral has opened a door for
  him into a deeper place in his own world,
  where he can see beyond what is immediately
• The audiotapes that Robert and the narrator’s wife send back
  and forth to each other represent the kind of understanding
  and empathy that has nothing to do with sight. The narrator
  believes that Robert’s wife, Beulah, must have suffered
  because Robert could never see her, but in his own way, the
  narrator has never truly seen his own wife. Robert’s
  relationship with the narrator’s wife is much deeper than
  anything the narrator can understand. When he hears a bit of
  Robert’s tape, he says it sounds only like “harmless chitchat,”
  not realizing that this sort of intimate communication is
  exactly what his own marriage lacks. Only when the narrator
  closes his eyes to finish drawing the cathedral does he
  approach the level of understanding that his wife and Robert
  have achieved through their taped correspondence.
• "Cathedral," like many of Carver's other stories,
  portrays individuals isolated from each other for a
  variety of reasons.
• The narrator drinks too much and seems unable to
  adequately communicate with his wife. The wife has
  earlier tried to commit suicide because of loneliness.
  Only the blind man, Robert, seems able to form
  lasting human connections. Unlike Carver's other
  stories, however, "Cathedral" ends with hope;
  although there is no proof that the narrator will
  overcome his isolation, for the moment, he is in
  communion with himself and another human being.
                  Symbolic Meaning
• At the end of “Cathedral,” the narrator has a life-changing moment, or an
  epiphany, while trying to tell Robert what a cathedral looks like. The
  narrator, when first trying to explain what the cathedral looks like,
  struggles for the words. However, upon Robert’s encouragement, loosens
  up, and draws the cathedral with Robert, guiding his hand with a pencil
  onto paper.
• This is a close personal connection and intimate moment of
  communication for the narrator, and it impacts him greatly. The narrator is
  able to connect with Robert, and this is the moment where the narrator
  can put aside his insecurities and actually interact with someone else. It
  changes the narrator; he says, “It was like nothing else in my life up to
  now” (Carver 108).
• Throughout Cathedral, the boundaries the narrator has placed on his
  interaction and communication with others are eroded by Robert’s patient
  persistence in getting to know him. As a result, the narrator confronts his
  own insecurities and misconceptions, not just about Robert and the blind,
  but also about his own ability to interact with others.

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