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Cathedral and A Small Good Thing by Raymond Carver both clearly depict the importance of communication between people.

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Proper communication is an essential skill to have. Someone who does not have proper communication skills can find it harder to overcome conflicts with other people. Cathedral and A Small Good Thing by Raymond Carver both clearly depict the importance of communication between people. Communication can be thought of as such a simple, day-to-day skill, but in reality, it is one of the most useful tools to have. Carver uses dialogue and communication of emotions to show how communication with others is not only vital to our personal well-being, but the profound impact our communication can change the lives of others as well. Being able to communicate emotions is essential. Both Cathedral and A Small Good Thing have characters that are unable to do this. In Cathedral, Bub has difficulty expressing his feelings. Even more, he does not even admit he has feelings, and as a result, he does not have a close relationship with his wife. ...read more.


(270). Another example of this is in A Small Good Thing when Scotty is hit by a car. The driver of the car does not get out to say anything. "He simply put the car into gear and drove away". (271). When there is dialogue between the characters, it can sometimes feel strained, almost awkward. You can feel the awkward tension in A Small Good Thing when Ann speaks with the family of Franklin in the waiting room. "The father shifted in the chair. He shook his head. He looked down at the table, and then he looked back at Ann." (278). He is fidgeting. This is typically seen as a nervous or an awkward gesture. Bub in Cathedral is also a conversationally awkward character. He never seems to know quite what to say or how to speak in comfortable terms. His overuse of alcohol contributes to this. When Bub is sitting with Robert and his wife after dinner, he explains says, "Now and then I joined in. ...read more.


As Robert helped Bub draw the cathedral, Bub says, "It was like nothing else in my life up to now." (270). While there is no proof that Bub has changed, there is an indication that there is hope for him. Robert is the only character in Cathedral that seems able to form proper human connections. In both A Small Good Thing and Cathedral, Carver clearly shows how important communication is in our lives. Lack of communication pushes us farther apart, whereas proper communication can bring us together. A Small Good Thing shows the healing power that human communication has on us. Cathedral ends with hope, and Bub being in communion for the time being, with another human being. Raymond Carver does an excellent job of showing the importance that communication has in all of our lives. Communication is a constant struggle, as it deals with people. These two stories bring out this conflict between people as a way to allow the reader to identify with the characters. ...read more.

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