Significance of Names in "Flight Patterns" and "Cathedral" Analytical Essay

Significance of Names in "Flight Patterns" and "Cathedral"
An analysis of the significance of calling names in Sherman Alexie's "Flight Patterns" and Raymond Carver's "Cathedral".
# 148266 | 995 words | 0 sources | 2009 | US
Published on Oct 06, 2011 in Literature (American)

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The paper discusses how in the short stories, "Flight Patterns" and "Cathedral", the main characters refrain from calling people by their names unless they feel that they have some kind of importance. The paper highlights the role of stereotypes regarding characteristics such as race, gender, religion or physical attributes, and how the main characters in both stories dismiss others based on perceptions of their worth. The paper then shows how the protagonists learn to accept others and relate to them as people of importance.

From the Paper:

"When a couple declares the name of their child time and thought are put into it before a final decision is made because of love. In Sherman Alexie's "Flight Patterns" William automatically tells us the name of his wife and daughter most likely because these are the people he loves and cares about most. Throughout the story he always mentions how much he cares for and loves them both, which is why he would explain exactly who they were without delay. As for the cab driver who takes William to the airport, he is not named until further into the story. William always refers to him as either the cab driver or the black guy. It is not until they converse into deep discussion about their lives that William learns that he is not just a cab driver, but a jet fighter pilot, that he calls him by his given name, Fekadu."

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Significance of Names in "Flight Patterns" and "Cathedral" (2011, October 06) Retrieved August 21, 2019, from

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"Significance of Names in "Flight Patterns" and "Cathedral"" 06 October 2011. Web. 21 August. 2019. <>