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Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Biographical Influence of Raymond Carver.
Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Biographical Influence of Raymond Carver. The narrator starts out with rigid, preconceived notions of a blind person and is surprised to find that his guest does not conform to these ideas. His initial antagonism towards his guest gradually melts away and the narrator lets down his guard. As the narrator interacts with the blind man, he experiences an epiphany which is transformative. The story explores the metaphorical blindness of the narrator. Although it is the guest who is physically blind, it is the narrator who is blind to the beauty of life. It is widely recognized that Carver’s stories and poems are largely biographical. A study of Carver’s life reveals that many aspects of “Cathedral” reflect the author’s own experiences. Raymond Carver was born on May 25, 1938, in Clatskanie, Oregon. The Carvers were a working-class family. The father worked at a sawmill as a saw-filer. The mother did various jobs as a waitress, clerk, housewife and high school teacher. .The family moved frequently. The young Carver graduated from Yakima High School, Washington, developing his passion for reading and writing while still in school. He went on to work with his father at the local sawmill for a short period. At the age of eighteen, Carver married the sixteen year-old Maryann Burk, who was then pregnant with their first child, a daughter. A son was born to them the following year. He moved to California. Carver worked to support his family during the day and attended night classes at  .Humboldt State College, from where he graduated in 1963. Carver received a grant towards graduate study at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the family moved to Iowa. Carver’s literary career included five collections of short stories, two chapbooks, and three volumes of poetry. .His stories were included in The Best American Short Stories, and were nominated for various awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. On the career front, Carver worked as an Advertising Director and taught at several universities. His personal life was a constant struggle: “between 1976-1977, Carver was hospitalized several times for a severe drinking problem that almost killed him and his marriage fell apart” (Dota). . Carver filed for bankruptcy twice. 1977 marked the turning point of Carver’s life. He gave up alcohol and met his second wife, Tess Gallagher. Carver went on to lead a “second life” of comparative happiness and fulfillment, before dying of lung cancer on June 2nd, 1988. (Dota). Many little facets of Carver’s life and social world are incorporated into “Cathedral.” The story is “peopled with the type of lower-middle-class characters the author was familiar with while he was growing up” (Poetry Foundation). .The characters in “Cathedral” need to work for a living and are not well-off. The narrator’s wife meets the blind man because she is out of money and needs a job. The blind man and his wife sell Amway products. This is reminiscent of Carver’s wife, Maryann, selling “a series of book digests door-to-door” .(Poetry Foundation). .The narrator and his wife obviously cannot afford to splurge thoughtlessly on their household needs. The sofa is a recent acquisition and the color television is bought in an exchange offer. Carver’s social circle thought that “a good time consists of smoking pot with the neighbors” (Poetry Foundation). .In “Cathedral,” the narrator invites his guest to smoke a joint with him as a way to interact.