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The Bluest Eye and Cathedral Raymond Carver - Essay Example

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The Bluest Eye and The Cathedral: An Analysis The novel The Bluest Eye and the short story Cathedral are two critically acclaimed literary works that are also considered two of the best in their respective genres in American literature. The former is written by novelist Toni Morrison and was published in 1970 while the latter was written by Raymond Carver and was included in a collection of short stories of the same title, which was published in 1983…
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The Bluest Eye and Cathedral Raymond Carver
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The Bluest Eye and Cathedral Raymond Carver

The story revolved around the manner by which the girl, Pecola, desired to be white, with pale skin and the deepest blue eyes. On the other hand, The Cathedral narrated a story about a man's encounter with a blind man called Robert. The account for this brief interaction, with its varying phases of emotional experience and personal relationship was anchored on how the latter was able to teach the narrator a new perspective in seeing things, transforming him in the process. Thematic Similarities The similarities between Morrison and Carver's work rest fundamentally on the way they wrote their respective stories on families in addition to troubled and tragic protagonists. Pecola suffered physical and psychological abuse from her father and her surroundings whereas; the Robert in Carver's tale was blind and has recently lost his wife. Even the narrator of the story seems to be suffering from some form of inner turmoil and suffered from confusion and emotional catharsis among other things depicted in a number of nuances and details. Also, both of these stories revolve around the theme of bigotry. In Morrison's work the community is still typified with the discrimination against the black people. As a result, people that surrounded Pecola used the whites and their lifestyle as standards of perfection, wherein those that they have are things to be desired. Her parents called her ugly, so she aspired to be white with blue eyes. Carver concentrated the bigotry on his narrator. It was not racial but targeted towards someone with disability. There was prejudice in his attitude towards the blind man and when he met him, it was further tinged with a degree of condescension. About Standards The theme of beauty and aesthetics, which is at the core of The Bluest Eye, revolved around the idea that being white, is beautiful. This variable is crucial in explaining the female black identity in the story. Morrison described this as psychologically damaging to black girls in America. By providing a racist and patriarchal social setting, Morrison was able to illustrate the manner by which black women and men were shaped by cultural influences. To demonstrate this, there is the case of Pecola's father. He was treated throughout most part of the book with a kind of repulsiveness because of his appearance. For some, his looks appeared to resemble that of an alcoholic, so even he was not, he became one. The social perception involved with being black was emphasized to be equated with ugliness and Morrison enumerated several adverse effects on the psyche and behavior of a people. Carver was more specific in his tale with his minimal use of characters. In the interaction between his bigoted narrator and blind Robert, the reader is provided a summary of the social perception on disabled people. When the narrator met Robert, he observed and observed and, in his thoughts, the readers would be able to identify preconceived notions, prejudices and antagonisms that many of them would find familiar. Cultural versus Utilitarian The treatment of themes and the text content conveyed revealed two different concerns. As Morrison focused on racial and gender identity, and the role of the social norms in the rage and pain of a people with their privations and exclusions, her narrative became a cultural critique. On the other hand, through his ... Read More
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