In Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," what figurative language does Carver employ? To what effect?

Expert Answers
gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of the early part of the story is told relatively flatly, with little figurative language. Therefore, when Carver begins to employ it more heavily, when discussing Beulah working for the blind man, the first effect is that it calls attention to that section, like a special effect. The next effect this more vivid description has is that Carver shares telling details. They make it easy to visualize the situation, which is a commentary on the blindness, and they characterize both those characters described and the speaker.
The next batch of intense figurative language describes the blind man, and again, it both allows us to picture him and tells us about the speaker's character.
Later, the descriptions call attention to the difference between sight and blindness (literal and metaphorical), and later still, when they are drawing, the details and metaphors show the effort made in creating connections.