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Cathedral by Raymond Carver Book Analysis

Cathedral is a short story by Raymond Carver. Cathedral has been written from the first person point of view. The book revolves around three characters: the narrator, the narrator’s wife, and Robert, who is a blind person. The author has managed to discuss some themes in the book, but the standout theme is the change. The story revolves around the narrator who is a man that is prejudiced about blind people. This prejudice developed from watching movies. The narrator experiences a life-changing moment when Robert, the blind person visits them in their home. Different people hold different views regarding an array of topics. The narrator who is similar to the common man holds negative thoughts about blind people and their purpose in this world. Although the narrator presents a selfish, ignorant, and insensitive personality, he experiences a life-changing metamorphosis that modifies the way he perceives blind people.

The narrator is ignorant to what blind people go through in their daily lives. He does not recognize that blind people can live the way a normal person lives. His ignorance is identified when at first he does not want the blind person to come to his house because blind people are always “miserable”. This is a wrong notion. Robert, for example, has a wife and a color TV at his home. The narrator is ignorant to the fact that his wife worked for Robert. This perception changes slowly as they start to talk with Robert.

One of the traits that the narrator has showed in the book is his insensitivity. The wife is sensitive to Roberts feelings. He says that a blind person in his house is not something that he looked forward to. He further advises his wife to take Robert Bowling instead of letting him come for a visit to their house (Carver 67). His wife welcomed the blind man to their home. Robert is the only visitor, and he did not force to come over. Conversely, he is also inconsiderate to his wife’s feelings. He only thinks about his comfort and not his wife’s feelings in trying to appreciate Robert. In addition, he does not consider that the blind man has just lost his wife. He does not care if he is lonely or not. However, the insensitivity does not last long. He later, as they were taking alcohol, started to be considerate to Robert. This is after Robert made him close his eyes and try to imagine the cathedral.

The narrator, at first, is also shallow. He does not understand the inner self of a person but rather only the physical outer form. This can be proven by the judgment on the blind person. He comments that Roberts’s wife must have been unhappy and the reason being his blindness. He does not understand that people who are not blind can also cause their lovers to live a life full of regrets. The narrator superficial nature or character can be connected with the movies he watched. He assumes that blind people are only led by dogs and always wear sunglasses. He believes that they usually carry sticks and are very slow in their activities. First, the narrator gives the blind man Cannabis (Carver 2372). He teaches him how to hold and smoke it. Robert does this with ease giving the impression that he has been doing this since he was young. This is the part where the narrator starts to have second thoughts about his beliefs of blind people. The only thing that he has shared with Robert and he seems a professional is smoking that marijuana. This is one of the situations he starts to change his perception about blind people. At first he did not even want the blind person to come but now they are sharing a pipe.

The attitude of the narrator can be seen slowly changing and he warms to Robert. After realizing that Robert can distinguish between a color and a black and white television, he becomes proud of him (Runyon 78).  Only a person that can see is able to distinguish between the two different televisions set. This Phenomenon makes the narrator interested in Robert. He cannot comprehend how Robert is a blind man and can identify between the two. Part from that, the blind person also owns a color TV.  The narrator with this knowledge admires the energy of Robert. In addition, Robert drinks with the narrator’s family. This act makes the narrator envy how outgoing and dynamic the blind person is. It is rare to find a blind man drunk but in this situation, Robert enjoys himself with the alcohol. All these acts make the narrator have conflicting thoughts between what he has seen in movies and what is presenting itself at the moment.

In conclusion, it can be established how the narrator changes from an insensitive, superficial, and ignorant person at the beginning of cathedral to an understanding individual. He can finally see that disability is not inability especially when it comes to blindness. He finally realizes that it is he who was blind and not Robert. At the end of the story, he changes from a blind person to one who can finally see. From the story, it can be identified how people have negative perception about something without a valid reason. From the book, it can be noted that people should not judge each other because of a certain phenomenon. Every person is unique and need to be taken like a normal individual no matter the challenges such a person is undergoing.

Essay Discussion

According to the contents of the article, social media is not helping the company’s bottom line because of a number of reasons. One of the reasons is advert elasticity are often very low, which makes organizations persist with ineffective advertisements in the media.  Traditional offline consumer opinion surveys are better in terms of predicting sales than clicks and the number of website visits. The author also shows that Facebook and twitter as online means of advertisement are not reliable for a business as tweets and likes can be bought. The author also enumerates that social media is apparently about awareness and not sales. The implication of the above-mentioned statement is social media only helps in promoting a product, but does not entail the reassurance that the commodity will be sold. Thus, it is true that the social media is not helping the organization’s bottom line.

What was the product, medium and why was the advertisement successful?

I was ones prompted by a social media to purchase a pair of shoes, i.e. Facebook. The source of medium in this case was Facebook and the product was a pair of sports shoes which were on promotion. The advertisement strategy was successful as the contents of the advert were clear, in terms of visibility and the price was pocket friendly as well. Furthermore, it was during the holidays, and hence, I was influenced by the fact that my nephew had visited so I opted to purchase the pair of shoes for him. Therefore, the success of the advert was based on time, clarity, and affordable price. In my case, I can say that the advert was appropriate as it enabled me to purchase the sports shoes for my nephew.

Narration in Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets”

In “A Pair of Tickets,” Amy Tan employs first person narration to show Jing Mei, the protagonist’s development and self-discovery as she journeys to China. The omnipresent point of view helps to show that Jing Mei’s attempt to forge relations with the past is vital for progression and self-discovery. Tan’s narration style of moving back and forth or recursion and progression, through the narrator’s point of view, harmonizes the past and the present into a unified sequence. Through omnipresence, the reader is invited to journey with the female protagonist as she discovers and acknowledges her Chinese heritage as prophesied by her mother.

In “A Pair of Tickets,” Amy Tan uses first person narration to fuse the past and the present. Through recursion and progression, the narration style helps to fill the gaps in the narrative by resolving the mysteries of the characters’ past. For example, through recursions, the reader is able to know about the abandonment, rescue and eventual upbringing of Jing-Mei’s half-sisters. Through this omnipresent point of view, the story describes a previously unknown history. Jing-Mei is unaware of the whole story regarding his sisters’ rescue but through Canning Woo’s narration, she gets valuable insights into it. Therefore, the omnipresent point of view in narration offers historical information crucial for the protagonist’s self-discovery.

The first person narration enables readers to identify with the protagonist’s journey of finding her Chinese heritage. To demonstrate that she is not wholly Chinese, Jing-Mei states: “I understand only Mandarin but can’t speak it that well” (Tan 185). Here, she explains the difficult she faces trying to connect with her Chinese roots. With first person narration, a reader can identify with the pain and happiness of Jing-Mei throughout her journey. Towards the end of the story, Tan switches the narrator to Jing-Mei’s father through flashback. It is through this latter’s narration that the reader is looped into the past of Jing Mei’s mother. Canning Woo’s narration provides justifications for his wife’s forced abandonment of her children on the roadside while fleeing the Japanese invaders.

Tan uses the omnipresent point of view to return to the past so as to help Jing Mei find her Chinese roots. In “A Pair of Tickets,” the protagonist struggles to deal with identity conflict—between being American and Chinese. She says that she has “never really known what it means to be Chinese” (Tan 179). The reason for Jing-Mei’s doubts of her identity is because she was born and bred in America. Tan tells the story from Jing Mei’s point of view so that readers can understand her predicament. After her father explains the story of her half-sisters in Chinese, Jing Mei is able to forge a connection with her mother’s homeland. The narration offered by Jing Mei’s father serves as the turning point or revelation for the protagonist. She changes her feeling and attitude towards her mother while she believes she has a strong bond with her sisters. According to Wood, the narration helps the protagonist to determine and appreciate the past so as to make sense of the present and the future (83, 96). For this reason, the shift in narration from one character to another aids in developing the theme of self-discovery.

Tan switches the narration from present to the past with each transition serving the point of enriching the protagonist’s Chinese connection. Jing Mei’s narration and explanation of the letters written by her aunts sets the stage for the journey. Jing-Mei also provides vital family history through flashbacks. The reader is able to understand the role that Jing-Mei’s mother played in her life and the reason for her travel to China. Furthermore, her father’s narration offers the context for Jing-Mei to identify with her Chinese culture as her mother once predicted. Therefore, Tan uses the first person narration to demonstrate the changing landscape of Jing-Mei’s feelings towards her Chinese roots. When the story begins, Jing-Mei fears her reunion with her Chinese family because she feel like she lacks a personal connection with them. However, as the story comes to the end, she understands her mother’s struggles. When she eventually meets the long-lost sisters, Jing-Mei’s transformation is confirmed. She says: “Together we look like our mother. Her same eyes, her same mouth, open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish (Tan 195). This personal connection is achieved because of the omnipresent point of view employed by Tan. The narrator transitions from the present to the past through daydreaming and flashbacks to fill the gap between these two planes of existence. Eventually, Jing Mei acknowledges her Chinese heritage through the reunion explained in first person narration.

In conclusion, “A Pair of Tickets” by Amy Tan employs first person narration to depict Jing Mei’s struggle and eventual acceptance of her Chinese heritage. The omnipresent point of view serves the purpose of connecting the past and the present to help the protagonist’s self-discovery. Tan’s narration style of recursion and progression, through first person narration, harmonizes the past and the present into a unified sequence. In essence, this point of view invites readers to journey with Jing Mei as she discovers and accepts her Chinese roots.