Cathedral Questions and Answers
by Raymond Carver

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How would you describe the narrator’s relationship with his wife in "Cathedral"?

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The husband and his wife are alienated from each other, mainly because the husband feels only half alive.

In "Cathedral," the minimalist writer, Raymond Carver, employs a recurrent theme of anomie, the feeling of being only half alive often as a result of working a job that is meaningless, or of not being able to love or relate to others. This anomie characterizes the narrator/husband as one who suffers from not being able to connect with his wife or to relate to her friends.

When the "blind man," a friend of his wife's, has been invited to visit, the husband is very uncomfortable about this visit because this man has listened to tapes which his wife has made that reveal personal details about the husband and their life together. However, his wife is upset with her husband for not wanting her to visit with her old friend.

"If you love me," she said, "you can do this for me. If you don't love me, okay. But if you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I'd make him feel...

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