Epiphanic Awakenings in Raymond Carver’s Cathedral and Alice Walker’s Everyday Use

Ala Eddin Sadeq, Mohammed Al-Badawi


This paper explores how two short stories from very different backgrounds conclude in a significant epiphany for the characters. Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral” and Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” are studied to see how the husband in Carver’s work is blinder than his visually-impaired overnight guest, and the college-educated Dee in Walker’s story is more ignorant than her uneducated Mama and sister with learning difficulties. In the husband’s case in “Cathedral,” once he is forced to interact with someone unfamiliar he has an eye-opening experience and is led to the realization of how blind he has been. Walker’s Mama also has her own epiphany at the climax of the short story and her demeanor changes, becoming more assertive than before.

Keywords: Epiphany, moment of recognition, minimalist realism

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