Essay on Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Decent Essays

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 …show more content…

He only sees people for what they are on the outside, but is blind to appreciating the true beauty of a person's inner self. You begin to understand this better when the narrator goes to say prayers, and this baffles the wife. The narrator says, "Now let us pray, I said, and the blind man lowered his head. My wife looked at me, her mouth agape. Pray the phone won't ring and the food doesn't get cold, I said." Now normally prayers are said to show appreciation to all that God has blessed you with. The narrator prays in a cold type of way, because he cannot believe in a God if he does not appreciate the beauty of ones inner self. 

The second thing that makes the theme or message come out is the characterization in the story. In Cathedral, there are three main characters. The most important character in the story is Robert, the blind friend of the wife's. Unlike the narrator, Robert cannot physically see, but has a clear vision of appreciating the person's true inner self. For example, when the narrator cannot comprehend how Robert's wife even loved Robert. He says,
"It was beyond my understanding. Hearing this, I felt sorry for the blind man for a little bit. And then I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one. A woman who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment

Get Access