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Raymond Carver Cathedral Analysis

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In Raymond Carver’s story, “Cathedral,” we meet the nameless protagonist who is about to meet an old friend of his wife’s. The friend’s name is Robert and he is blind. In the beginning of the story, the narrator is uncomfortable with the idea of having someone with a disability, like Robert’s, in his home. He makes judgments about Robert and assumes that he is going to be like the blind people he has seen in the movies. We also learn the background information about how hife wife and Robert met and became friends. This story is a metaphor for not making blind judgements off of people before you get to know them. The reader learns about why Robert is coming to visit in the first paragraph. The narrator is extremely uncomfortable with the…show more content…
They became fast friends after that. Later on in the paragraph, the narrator talks about how on his wife’s last day working with Robert, Robert asked if he could touch her face. The narrator says, “She told me he touched his fingers to every part of her face, her nose--even her neck!” (20). The narrator sounds disgusted by this. He’s shocked that she would let a man just touch her face, let alone a blind man. However, it also sounds like he is a bit jealous too. This is another example of the narrator not understanding Robert’s disability and what he does to understand what something looks like. Robert probably did this because he wanted to what his friend looked like. He wanted to be able to picture her so he could remember her.
The next three paragraphs talk about what happened to the wife in between leaving Robert and meeting the narrator. The wife married her childhood sweetheart and spent years travelling around to different bases because her husband was an Air Force officer. Robert and her had kept in contact and they would send tapes to each other, talking about what was happening in their life. One day the wife felt so lonely from losing people because she was always moving, that she decided to overdose. She ended up getting really sick, but in time she made another tape telling Robert what had happened. The tapes in this story are extremely important for a couple reasons.
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