In the short story, “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, it all began when the narrator’s wife invites her blind friend Robert over to visit her and her husband. Her husband has normal vision, but in the beginning of the story, he is the one that is blind. For example, he is close minded and stereotypical about this blind man arriving at their home. The husband’s words and actions when dealing with Robert is that the husband is uncomfortable, awkward, and mean. As the story progresses, we can see a change in the husband, and he seems to connect with Robert.
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”, the short story is told by a character within the story. The first-person point of view gives us a transparent visual of an important time in the narrators’ life. The narrator, who is “un-named” in the beginning of the story, uses blunt, flawless and a particular choice of words. This gives us as the reader a deeper connection with the narrator. The narrator begins this story by taking us through the changes he go through with the uneasy feeling of having a blind-man coming to his house to visit.
By the end of Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," the narrator is a round character because he undergoes development. The story opens with the narrator's unconcern for meeting the blind man, Robert, which is because he was uninvolved in the friendship between the blind man and the narrator's wife. Feeling intimidated, he discloses, "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me" (Carver 1). This emphasizes the narrator's unwillingness to bond with the blind man, which is made visible as the story progresses; moreover, he does not acknowledge their relationship. This is highlighted when he mentions what the name of the blind man's wife was. "Her name was Beulah. Beulah! That's a name for a colored woman. 'Was his wife a Negro?' I asked" (3). He seems disgusted with people. The insensitive narrator's prejudice is evident by him saying, "I've never met, or personally known, anyone who was blind" (5). This statement causes the audience to expect growth in him. The narrator's detachment from the blind man is indicated by his disinterest in cathedrals and tapes; nevertheless, the blind man and the narrator have had dinner, "smoked dope," and drank together,
This story is about how the narrator is unable to see what life is really giving him and finds it through a blind man’s eyes, the friend of his wife. Cathedral is a touching story, in my opinion, as it reflects on what many of us, society, take for granted. It shows how important it is to give people a
Carver’s short story “Cathedral” is about a man and a woman who are married. The woman’s blind friend Robert, whose wife just died is coming to stay with them because he plans on visiting his dead wife’s relatives nearby. Robert knew the man’s wife because she worked for him one summer, reading to Robert. The wife and Robert stayed in touch over the years by sending tapes to each other, and letting each other know about what was going on in their lives. When the man hears Robert is coming over he makes idiotic comments about Robert’s wife and felt that Robert would be a burden on them because he is blind. The man and the woman proceed to argue over the situation. The wife tells her husband, “If you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable” (Carver, “Cathedral” 34). The man responds to this by stating, “I don’t have any blind friends” (Carver, “Cathedral” 34). When Robert finally arrives, they converse, drink, and eat together. After, the wife goes upstairs, the man and Robert begin to smoke some weed together. While the wife was sleeping, they start watching TV together and talking. Robert asks the man to explain to him what a cathedral looks like because cathedrals came up on the TV. The man has trouble explaining it and cannot describe to Robert what a cathedral looks like. Then Robert asks the man to draw a cathedral with him. Robert request that the man close his eyes, and they begin to draw. This is where the story ends and it seems that this is when the man became aware of the difficult lives blind people live as he could not explain what a cathedral looked like, and he could not see his drawing.
Cathedral, the short story by Raymond Carver is told from a first person point of view through the eyes of the narrator who remains nameless throughout the story. The narrator, for most of the story acts selfish, feels jealousy, and does not want Robert, a blind man, to come to visit, but as the story progresses, the narrator gets to know and understand Robert and for the first time, he begins to see things with a completely different perspective. These changes make the narrator a dynamic character.
“Cathedral” by Carver isn’t a story that immediately grabbed my attention. By the way that the story is written to the actual story itself, it was missing something that made me want to continue reading it at first, but then I realized that there is a purpose for it being that way. I felt disconnected because that’s how the husband felt. This story had more to it than the author lead on. After looking back at the story I realized that although one of the characters is blind, it’s actually two that were blind and the second being the husband.
In almost every story there is a meaning, whether that meaning is obvious or not is up to the readers’ interpretations. In some stories, that meaning hides behind a character, how that person acts, thinks, or express themselves and how they change throughout resembling growth. In Raymond Carver’s “The Cathedral”, the unnamed husband narrators the tale of his wife’s old blind friend Robert coming to visit after not seeing each other for years. They had remained in contact through audiotapes, but the husband seems to not understand the significance of their relationship, showing distaste with the visit for the majority of the story, due to his uncomfortableness. In this story, the writer displays his tale and its morals; by using the narration of the husband; Carver shows that there comes to be more meaning behind this bitter man that meets the eye, which argues the fact that perhaps this unlikable narrator is truly the antihero.
The narrator from Raymond Carver’s ‘Cathedral’, lived a clouded state of mind where his thoughts kept him from reaching the pellucid reality. Through the beginning of the narrative, the narrator expresses his harsh and judgmental opinions about blindness- which represents his incapacity and closed-mindedness to see beyond him. Later on his perspective is changed thanks to a sudden events. The narrator, which has no given name, is bothered by the impending visit of his wife’s blind friend, Robert. The narrator’s wife used to work for Robert from which they developed a relationship and inspired the wife to write poems about it. They, the wife and Robert, have maintained a constant communication through mailed tapes. All of these added up more to the narrator’s dislike for Robert. For example, when the narrator express his desconstest towards Robert’s disability: “And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies” (‘Cathedral’, Raymond Carver). Here the narrator’s narrowness and lack of sympathy is palpable. He is simple and superficial. Lives in a 2D way, is incapable of bearing a thought outside the box, and explore the depths of life in general. He is unhappy with his current work position but does nothing to change that fact. That’s until Robert’s visit. This is changed once the narrator gets to know Robert and Robert opens the narrator’s mind to life seen through another pair of eyes. For instance, after dinner is over, the narrator and Robert are watching a documentary about cathedrals. Suddenly, the narrator wonders if Robert has any knowledge of how cathedrals look like. There is where their journey begins. Robert ask to the narrator to draw a cathedral for him and request the narrator to add specific details (people, etc.). “So we kept on it. His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over
"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.
“Cathedral” depicts a husband and a wife as they prepare and entertain a friend of the wife. The husband, the narrator, is not excited about the friend coming because he is blind. The blind man and the wife have been friends for longer than the husband has known the wife creating a complex and slightly jealous dynamic between the three characters. For the
Carver’s story “Cathedral” opens with this blind man, coming to visit the narrator’s wife friend of ten years. It takes place in the narrator's home; he is on his way to spend the night. However,
The story follows the narrator and his wife who has invited her old friend to stay at their home because his wife has just passed away. The friend, Robert, is blind and the narrator’s wife worked for him as a reader ten years prior. They remained close and kept in touch by sending audiotapes to one another, recounting what was going on in their lives. Robert’s blindness makes the narrator uncomfortable and he does not look forward to his visit, even though it is quite important to his wife. The three spend a somewhat awkward evening together and the narrator become more comfortable with Robert as the night progresses and as his wife falls asleep. The narrator gains some compassion for Robert and attempts to describe what the cathedral on the
In comparison, in “Cathedral” the narrator’s lack of vulnerability at this point of the story is beginning to be a problem, yet a beginning of a silver lining starts to show. From this point on forward in the story Husband and wife and the blind man are settling down, having a little bit of small talk and enjoying each other's company over some drinks. “I remembered having read somewhere that the blind didn’t smoke because, as speculation had it, they couldn’t see the smoke they exhaled”(Guy)said the narrator, he states that because Robert was smoking, this clashes preconceived notions about blind people. After that they enjoyed a great dinner and all the while the narrator once again is enamored of how effortlessly the blind man can find
In Raymond Carver’s Cathedral, the reader is given a glimpse into the precarious relationship between the narrator and his wife. The narrator shares his heavily critical point of view on the forthcoming visit from his wife’s old friend whom he calls “the blind man” later known as “Robert”. Specifically, Carver uses first person narrative to put the reader in the mindset of the speaker who although keeps information hidden about himself, eventually exposes a substantial amount of character through his commentary. Slowly but surely he divulges his tremendously insecure, stubborn, and immature nature when it comes to matters of exhibiting empathy for others and most importantly obtaining the emotional depth for it.