Through this brief vignette, Carver manages to explore some profound themes. Liberation: the narrator feels secure “in my house”, yet his experience with Robert allows him to be free of the walls of his existence: “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything.” The vehicle for this expansion is the cathedral itself – a spiritual structure, of course – yet also a large, spacious enclosure, a place flooded with lovely coloured light and big enough to really stretch your legs. It is still enclosed, and therefore safe, but expansive enough to allow the spirit room to breathe.


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