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  1. Write a 250-word (minimum) response to each writing prompt below. You must meet the minimum word count for each response to get full credit.
  2. Use only the assigned readings unless otherwise instructed.
  3. Your responses must include quotes from each text used to get full credit



1. In “Cathedral,” how would you describe the relationship between the narrator and his wife? Do you think their relationship will change after this experience? What do you feel is the significance of the Robert’s lack of vision?

2. Look at Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and explain how the quilts in the story symbolize the family’s heritage.  How do Dee and Maggie view the significance of the family’s heritage, and how is that represented by the quilts in the story?
1. Raymond Carver (1938-1988) was born in Oregon and grew up in the state of Washington.  He married at an early age, and his second child was born when he was only twenty years old.  Before pursuing a writing career, he worked several jobs to support his young family.  He returned to school, eventually receiving a degree in 1963.  Carver, some would say, was what Hemingway would have become had he not committed suicide.  Much of Carver’s style is influenced by Hemingway and the idea of minimalism.  Carver’s characters struggle in relationships, in career, and, ultimately, in life.  He himself was a recovering alcoholic who had worked as a janitor and delivery person, among other things.  His short story “Cathedral” is a good demonstration of how people have such a difficult time connecting, even with the ones they love.

2. Alice Walker (b. 1944) was born in Eatonton, Georgia.  She is the daughter of sharecroppers and grew up in poverty.  When she was a young child, she was accidentally shot in the eye while playing with her brothers.  She was self-conscious about the scars from the injury, and she became withdrawn as a result.  Reading and writing became an activity to provide comfort.  After college, she became active in the Civil Rights movement, and her experiences helped shape her writing.  Her writing became very popular, and she is a favorite of Oprah Winfrey’s book club.  She is most famous for her novel The Color Purple, which was also made into a movie.  She and Oprah discussed the importance of using old and valuable heirlooms every day on one of Oprah’s shows, an idea reflected in “Everyday Use.”

Click on the video link below to view a short video about Walker.


Embedded Video Player: Profile: Alice Walker

Profile: Alice Walker

User: Open Road Media – Added: 9/20/11

Open Road Media (2011, Sep. 20).  Profile: Alice Walker.  Retrieved from



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