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bigot Raymond carvers cathedral

Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"

"For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in
part; but then I shall know even as I am known" (1 Corinthians 13). The narrator of Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" is a man living a life of monotony, continuously feeding the cold and bigoted mind that we witness for the first part of the story. The process of guiding Robert through the drawing of the cathedral,removes the narrator from that dark looking glass and initiates a tranformation in which he is compelled to meet himself face to face; this awakening stirs the narrator's humility, imagination, and faith.
It is human nature to embrace preconceptions regarding the facets of daily life, from politics to people. It is, as well, innate to consider oneself better than another. An awakening such as the narrator's, however, ruptures the protective shield that surrounding steadfast biases, and forces the person to assess their position in the greater schema of humankind. A bias that surfaces early on, is the mention of Robert's wife, "Beulah!" The narrator exclaims, "That's a name for a colored woman." (Carver, "Cathedral," 182) Here, by attaching a stereotype to a simple name, he exhibits the precise indiscretion of a closed-minded bigot,
and then eventually reaches humility through his awakening. The narrator
possesses several other prejudices that also hinder his humility. Later on, for
example, the narrator sees Robert for the first time and the man's appearance
startles him: "This blind man, feature this," he says, "he was wearing a full
beard! A beard on a blind man!" (183) Later still, the narrator reinforces his
portrayal of an ignorant, presumptuous man when he notices that Robert doesn't
"use a cane and he [doesn't] wear dark glasses, [having] always thought dark
glasses were a must for the blind." (183) However, the narrator sheds these
stereotypes once he engages in the 'cathedral' conversation with Robert; the two begin to compare how well each of them envisions a cathedral. For instance,
Robert gives facts that he has just heard off the television, demonstrating his
limited knowledge. The narrator then attempts a description of a Cathedral,
"they're really big," the narrator explains, "they're massive;" (188), and
subsequently realizes just how little he knows as well. The narrator realizes
that with the gift of sight he can really see little more than a blind man . . .
And it is here that the narrator awakens to his newly humbled -- equal --
position alongside Robert. Up to this point, the narrator fancied himself a
superior person because of his sight. Suddenly, with this moment of awakening,
down came that shield protecting his closed-minded presumptions.
By engaging in the same action that helped him realize his humbleness, the
narrator retrieves his imagination. For so long he had been stifling his innate
creativity, choosing instead to allow outside forces create images and art for
him. Robert coerces the narrator into sketching a cathedral, unlocking the door
behind which the narrator had been keeping his imagination. This brings to light just how important and self-fulfilling that imagination had once been to him and could be again: "So I began. First I drew a box that looked like a house. It could the house I lived in. Then I put a roof on it. at wither end of the roof, I drew spires. Crazy . . . I put in windows with arches. I drew flying buttresses. I hung great doors. I couldn't stop." (189/190) This sketch has initiated another awakening. That is, the narrator placed in perspective what a steady diet of television and drinking had been holding him back from; here he is reacquainted with his estranged imagination, not able to stop drawing because with the sketch comes a flood of new spiritual enlightenment.
The narrator doesn't rest here for long, however, forced to stretch his
imagination even farther when the television goes off the air. Now the narrator
is forced to use his imagination in its purity. "'Close you eyes now,' the blind man said to me. I did it. I closed them just like he said . . . 'Keep them that way,' he said. He said, ... more

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Messiah of the Masses

Glen Jeansonne,MESSIAH OF TH MASSES; HUEY LONG AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION, (Addison-Wesley Longman Publishers, N.Y., 1993,204 pp.). Jeansonne was born into a Cajun family in 1946. He grew up in New Roads, Louisiana, and earned his bachelor's degree from the UL Lafayette(then- University of Southwestern Louisana) in 1968. After recieving his Ph.D. in history at Florida State University in 1973, he taught at Williams College in Massachusetts and the University of Michigan before he became a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee in 1978. Jeansonne is the author of four books and 15 articles on Louisiana in the 20th century. His book on the infamous Wiscousin born bigot og the 1950's GERALD L.K.SMITH: MINISTER OF HATE, was nominated for a pulitzer Prize for biography in 1988.

MESSIAH OF THE MASSES;HUEY LONG ANF THE GREAT DEPRESSION is a biography of Huey Pierce Long. Jeansonne starts the book with Long's childhood. He was born in Winnfield, Louisiana on August 30,1893. He was one of ten children born to Hugh and Caledonia Long. It continues with Long as a candiate for public office. He ran for the Railroad commissioner which he was elected to in 1918. Long ran for governor, which he lost in the primary, in 1923. He was reelected to the Railroad Commission in 1924. Jeansonne the move through Huey Long's campaigns for governor in 1928, which he won; Long's impeachment, which was dismissed; Long's election to the U.S. Sente, which he served from 1932-1935; and Long's bid to become President of the United Statesin 1936. Jeansonne ends his book with Huey P. Long's the assassination and legacy. As Huey Long left the Governors office and proceeded to the house, he was approached by Carl Austin Weiss, a Baton Rouge physician. Long was shot once in the abdomen and died of internal bleeding at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, within two days.
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