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Preservation by Raymond carver

Preservation by Raymond carver


Carver's 1983 short story collection Cathedral contains much of the author's most popular and highly respected work. The twelve stories in Cathedral build on Carver's earlier work, exhibiting characteristics such as inarticulate characters isolated by their inability to relate to one another; an unsentimental treatment of joblessness, alcoholism, and estrangement; and a prevailing mood of despair and hopelessness. However, in Cathedral, Carver departs from the intensely minimalist style that characterized much of his earlier work. These stories are longer and more inclusive, providing greater insight into the emotions and perceptions of his characters.

In addition, in such stories as "A Small, Good Thing," "Cathedral," and "Where I'm Calling From," Carver allows his characters to experience a sense of hopefulness and the opportunity to commune with one another—circumstances largely absent from his previous work. When asked about the collection in an interview, Carver said: "the first story I wrote was 'Cathedral,' which I feel is totally different in conception and execution from any stories that have come before. I suppose it reflects a change in my life as much as it does in my way of writing."

Plot and Major Characters

In many of the stories from Cathedral, Carver focuses on daily events, common occurrences in the lives of his characters. Couples and families are his main subjects, and frequently experience some type of epiphany during the course of the story. In "Careful" a man struggles to clear his ears from deafening wax. "Bridle" is about the downward spiral of a farm family losing their farm, requiring them to relocate.

The family is forced to move a second time when the father suffers a head injury, leaving him unable to support his wife and four children. In "Feathers," Carver recounts a defining moment in the lives of ...
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