Short StoryDefinition Characteristics

According to Carver, a short story has been described as something very beautiful to look at, and something that should last, like a house or a car. By this, he means to say that just like a family gets attached to a home or a car over the years, a reader in a similar manner should feel that sort of longing and attachment to a short story by merely reading it once. A short story should be written in a manner that one can always go back to it and re-read it in order to interpret it differently. Some excellently written short stories have the ability to make the reader feel different emotions every time he turns the pages and goes through it again. It provides a sense of illumination for a very transient space in time while impacting the mind of the reader for a long time to come in the future.
Raymond Carver’s Cathedral has been included as a part of Best American Short Stories published in 1982 as one of his finest pieces of work written with simplicity and elegance. In the story, the narrator understands that it is possible to change his life and his ways by spending time with the blind man Robert. “I stared hard at the shot of the cathedral on the TV. How could I even begin to describe it? But say my life depended on it. Say my life was being threatened by an insane guy who said I had to do it or else.” (Carver, Raymond) As the two sit down to draw the image of a cathedral, he closes his eyes and gets in sync with the emotions of the blind man. He then comes to the conclusion that the possibility of being someone else, with a broader horizon is in the cards for him. The narrator begins to see the difference between seeing something and understanding it by putting himself in the shoes of the blind man. The short story has been written rather enigmatically with a sort of power that changes the way the reader looks at life. It is thus regarded as one of the most well-written stories of all time.