A&P and Cathedral Comparison Essay

1642 words 7 pages
Mallory Russell
06/12/15
Comparison Essay ENG 102 Online

“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver versus “A + P” by John Updike

In the short stories “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver and “A + P” by John Updike the protagonists experience an epiphany that change their restricted way of thinking. The main character, “Sammy” in John Updike’s, “A + P” is a teenage boy working in the town grocery store. Sammy experiences an epiphany when he decides to quit his job at the grocery store. He quit because he believed that it was wrong of his boss to treat customers poorly due to any pre-conceived notion that was determined by what the customer looks like. Raymond Carver’s main character named “the husband” in his story “Cathedral” experiences an epiphany
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The husband meets the blind man Robert when his wife brings him home from the train station. The husband is unsure of what to talk about with Robert. When the husband says something to Robert, he asks him something that is questionably testing whether or not Robert was intelligent or actually blind, “‘Which side of the train did you sit on, by the way?”’ (Carver 476). Robert immediately answers the question and continues the flow of conversation by elaborating on how long it had been since he rode a train. Afterwards, the husband begins to degrade Robert’s physical appearance to himself. The husband notices that Robert’s eyes are different. The husband feels threatened by Robert and pokes at Robert for things that are out of Robert’s control, “Too much white in the iris, for one thing, and the pupils seemed to move around in the sockets without his knowing it or being able to stop it. Creepy.” (Carver 476). It isn’t until later in the evening after dinner, drinks and smoking a little marijuana that the husband has his epiphany. The three females confront Sammy “A+P” when they approach his register. Instead of Sammy simply checking the girls out like he would any other customer, he hangs on every moment to inspect them. When, “Queenie” approaches the counter he takes notices to every bit of her including that she had no rings or bracelets. When she pulls the money

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