Dee does not truly value the heritage, and her interest in the quilts seem to reflect a cultural trend. This cultural trend becomes evident when the mother says, “I had offered Dee a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told me they were old-fashioned, out of style”(Walker 96). We learned early in the story that Dee acquired a style at a young age, and she allowed the world around her to alter and manipulate that style.
He is always focused on his wife, and even though it is not his ideal of a perfect marriage he does seem to love and admire his wife as if it was. He is capable of telling us a lot of details about his wife without ever calling her out or even trying to persuade us to dislike her. His love for her makes it possible for the narrator to get past his dislike of Robert, and allow him to stay in his house. Even after all the dislike he shares with us in the very beginning of the story. He comes into the kitchen to talk to his wife, and tries his best to be a nice guy about the topic of the blind guest which is a much different view from earlier. This persuades us to look at the narrator in his wife's perspective, even though we have knowledge that she doesn't about the narrators anxiety over Robert. Another large detail we have over the wife is that the narrator is jealous of Robert and is just using his blindness as a scapegoat. However, even though this extreme case of jealousy is unhealthy for their relationship, the narrator, in his own way, tells his wife he loves her. When his wife tells him "If you love me... you can do this for me. If you don't love me, okay." he does exactly that and tries to make Robert comfortable (Carver 107).
Bub’s epiphany helps him realize how Robert mirrors his life. The first indication of this was the jealousy he felt when his wife told him about her last day working with Robert. “On her last day last day in the office, the blind man asked if he could touch her face. She told me he touched his fingers to every part of her face, her nose--even her neck! She never forgot it”(pg. 3). The narrator’s jealousy was triggered because the thought of another male touching his wife bothered him. The mere fact that it was a she could never forget, it hit him hard. This emotional reaction shows that either the narrator doesn’t connect with his wife on an intimate level or he never cared for how his wife felt intimately until she spoke of another male and how his touch was unforgettable.
During Dee?s visit with her family, she asks for the two quilts, and her mother refuses. The mother had offered them to Dee before she went to college and she did not want them. Back then, Dee had called the quilts "old-fashioned, out of style" (Walker 1154). This shows that Dee was not interested in the quilts until they were considered fashionable, trendy, and "in style." This also shows that Dee is a "stylish" person who is trying
Dee’s selfishness is also portrayed by her cultured verbal skills. Dee can talk her way through anything. Dee often manipulates others with her verbal skills. This is shown when she reads to her mother and sister “without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice” (Walker 289). This statement further demonstrates the fact that Dee’s family feels inferior to her. Mama describes the situation as if Dee has some kind of power over her family because she is scholarly and her family is not. Dee uses her education to make Mama and Maggie feel less important without, necessarily meaning to.
Dee is a controlling person who always wanted everything to herself only and don't want anybody to take something more than her. And that appeared when mama said that the quilts which were handmade by their grandma Dee, that she would give it to Maggie, Dee was very angry for that and she wanted to take the quilts herself not because she wanted, just because she don't like anybody to take something more than her and wants everything for herself only. Dee was well educated and didn't liked her mother's and sister's way of living so she traveled and when
Everyone at one point has judged a book by its cover. In the short story, “Cathedral”, Raymond Carver creates a narrator who bases off ideas and assumptions about blind people from movies. The narrator has never interacted with a blind person before the day where his wife invites her friend, who is named Robert, to stay. The narrator and Robert have never met, but the narrator has a strong dislike towards Robert before meeting. The narrator’s closed-mindedness and misconceptions leads him to judge Robert, however after a few hours of interaction, the narrator learns more about him and grows to have a new perspective about people not being who they think they are.
The story of Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, shows that you do not have to see someone or something in order to appreciate them for who or what they are. It is about a husband, the narrator, and his wife who live in a house. The wife, whose name they do not mention, has a very close friend who is blind. His name is Robert. Robert's wife dies, and comes to their house to spend a couple of days with the narrator and his wife. The narrator, whose name they do not mention as well, is always on edge because he does not really know Robert very well and he does not like blind people, but he is being friendly for his wife's sake. The story comes to an end when Robert and the narrator draw a cathedral together using the narrator's hand and helped by
The behavior of overlooking her sister's, Maggie, and Mama's feelings since her childhood to the present indicates Dee's character as a person who disregards others. Mama ponders that while the house where they used to live burned to the ground; Maggie was burning, her "hair smoking and dress falling off her in little black papery flakes." Although she saw that Maggie needed her sister's aid, Dee stood "off under the sweet gum tree" at a distance (87). Walker reveals that Mama still finds Dee carrying her self-centeredness when she excludes herself from the pictures and "never [took] a shot without making sure the house is included" (89). Dee wants to capture the signs of poverty from her past so that she can show how much success she has gained in spite of being poor to her friends. Dee is so egotistical that she declares her sister is "backward enough to put [the quilts] to everyday use" (91) whereas she considers herself smart and would appreciate the quilts by hanging them. Her coldness and lack of concern make
"Cathedral" is a short story ultimately about enlightment, finding something more meaningful and deeper with in one self. Although from an observing point of view nothing more in the story happens then a blind man assisting the narrator in drawing a cathedral. Although as known, the narrator's experience radically differs from what is actually "observed". He is enlightened and opened up to a new world of vision and imagination. This brief experience will have a life long effect on him. The reason for this strong and positive effect is not so much the relationship made between the blind man and the narrator or even the actual events leading up to this experience, but rather it is mostly due to what was drawn by the narrator.
Plato’s “Myth of the Cave” and Carver’s Cathedral provide insight into parallel words. The protagonists in each story are trapped in a world of ignorance because each is comfortable in the dark, and fearful of what knowledge a light might bring. They are reluctant to venture into unfamiliar territory. Fortunately the narrator in the Cathedral is forced by circumstances to take a risk. This risk leads him into new world of insight and understanding.
Dee is clearly distancing herself from her mother and sister. She goes so far as to change her name from Dee to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, saying, "I couldn't bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me." Yet, she wants the quilts that are made by the very people that she despises. Mama is uneducated but not so ignorant as to realize Dee's unrooted, superficial motivation to have the quilts. "For her, heritage is something to be displayed on the coffee table and on the wall." Dee blatantly disrespects her mother's authority and free will.
The strongest example of Dee's confusion and of Walker's belief that a family's heritage should be alive and not frozen in time is at the end of the story. Dee finds the two quilts that had been pieced together by many generations of her family, and she wants to keep them. Her mother says, "In both of them were scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty and more years ago. Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrell's paisley shirts. And one teeny
This seems to unsettle the husband, as he notices that his wife has a stronger connection with Robert than they have in their marriage. The husband is blind to his wife’s feelings and needs in their relationship, and this lack of communication between them has affected their marriage. His wife wrote a poem about her experience with the blind man touching her face, and he brushed it off by stating that, “[He] can remember not thinking much about the poem” (33). The blind man however acts as an outlet for the wife to vent about her feelings which forms a close bond between the two. Robert can understand the speaker’s wife in a way that the speaker clearly is not able to. The narrator mentions that he believes Robert’s wife, Beluah, must have led a miserable life because she, “could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loves one. A woman who could never go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from her beloved” (34). He believes that the blind man’s wife must have suffered due to his inability to see her, yet the narrator has never even truly seen his own wife. Robert’s friendship with the speaker’s wife is what his own marriage is lacking due to not being able to recognize that his wife needs an emotional connection with him.
Dee continues to insult her family. She also wants to take the top of the butter churner to decorate with. Dee believes that everything she says is right so she talks about how she is fit to receive the quilts. Dee says that Maggie will use them instead of hanging them up as art to admire them (2441).