Cathedral Questions and Answers
by Raymond Carver

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Give three instances of "authorial intervention" in this story. Explain the purpose of this intervention and the way it affects our reading.Thank you!

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 “Authorial intervention” suggests that the author intrudes, violates the otherwise consistent limitations of the first person narrator’s view, to guide us with interpretation or commentary that the narrator could not (authentically) provide. I can locate three authorial intrusions, each very subtle. First, when the narrator says, upon first meeting Robert, that his voice “boomed.”  Throughout the story  the narrator otherwise says Robert speaks loudly, which is more objective, the word “boomed” giving Robert a power that the narrator would not at this point want to give  him.  The author’s voice again intrudes when the narrator interprets Robert’s posture by saying “as if he carried a great weight there [on his shoulders].” One more this suggests more empathy and insight than the narrator has yet gained.  The third instance occurs when the narrator says “It was then that the blind man cleared his throat” instead of the more direct statement, characteristic of his voice throughout the story, “the blind man cleared his throat.”  The “it was then” gives attention to the detail, telling us the readers this is a significant event, a change in their relationship and his understanding of Robert.

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