Throughout Robert’s visit, the narrator makes snide and insensitive remarks, despite his wife’s wishes. His misunderstanding of relationships and people is his visible flaw. It isn’t until the narrator
Through his abundant comments, the narrator expresses his judgments and misconceptions about people and the articulation of emotion. In other words, what the narrator thinks and says defines his wrongful ideas about the world. He admits that his “idea of blindness [comes] from the movies” and, therefore, expects the blind
The narrator ‘s insensitivity was witness at the beginning of the story. He is not supportive of his wife after her announcement of the visit of an old friend name Raymond. Raymond was blind and his wife recently passed away. After hearing of the visit the narrator made his indifference for the blind man known: “I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (Carver 299). He never expressed sympathetic toward Robert for his current lost, and failed to understand that familiar face might be comforting to him during his time of grief. Instead the protagonist continues to being insensitive, by insulting choices and action of others: “It was a little wedding- who want to go to such a wedding in the first place? – just the two of them, plus the minister and the minister’s wife” (Carver 301-302). Robert lost did not stop the main character from speaking about her in an
arrogant and closeminded. The narrators jealous and negative personality is especially clear when he learns his wife's blind friend, Robert, is planning a visit. When the narrator is introduced to Robert, he critiques every aspect of
When we first meet 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).
The bud was jealous of Robert and His wife relationship. He does not like the fact that she wrote a poem about him “she recalled his fingers and the way they had moved around over her face” (137). But really does not like the fact how they kept in touch through the years by sending tapes back in forth over the
The narrator also has a hidden desire of using He barely speaks any words about himself, instead he chooses to tell everything about his wife’s life. When the narrator speaks of his wife’s first husband, he says “this man who’d first enjoyed her favors…why should he have a name?” (Carver 275). The way he words these phrases shows how he is trying to hide the fact that his wife has been with another man. The insecurities about the relationship probably began when the wife told the narrator that Robert “asked if he could touch her face. She agreed to this. She told me he touched his fingers to every part of her face, her nose—even her neck” (Carver 274). The narrator doesn’t say anymore on the topic and decides to move on, but the silence shows how he doesn’t approve of the situation. The narrator felt that his wife “told [Robert] everything, or so it seemed to me” (Carver 275). When the wife notices how the narrator is uncomfortable about Robert she says “If you love me, you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay” (Carver 276), which shows that she doesn’t have much stake in the relationship either.
Robert is a caring man who knows how to listen and hold a mature conversation. Robert and the narrator’s wife’s relationship began ten years ago, when “she'd seen something in the paper: HELP WANTED—Reading to a Blind man, and a telephone number. She phoned and went over, was hired on the spot.” (179). Over the summer “they’d become good friends” (179), and at the end, Robert was allowed to touch her face, making their friendship more personal. His wife found it memorable and significant, “she even tried to write a poem about it.” (179). After that summer, the narrator’s wife moved away from Seattle to an Air Force base in Alabama with her childhood sweetheart. The narrator’s wife moved around quite a bit and would often feel lonely, and unhappy in her situation. After a suicide attempt, she put her thoughts and feelings on tapes to send to Robert. Robert was always emotionally there for her, to support her, something her current husband cannot offer her. This communication that was allowed through audio tapes was a real emotional bond, forged with understanding and caring. When they meet in person for the first time in ten years, it seemed as if nothing has changed between
It is easy to judge individuals based on our crooked misconceptions. Sight is a useless physiological sense if one is unable to view/perceive things on a deep, meaningful level. Due to this, individuals tend to allow other relationships to trigger personal insecurities within. One must be capable to share a
When Robert first arrives, things are a little awkward. The narrator isn’t sure what to say to Robert. As the night goes on they share many drinks, eat dinner, and even smoke some dope. Even the simple concept of smoking weed was one of the first real connections the narrator and Robert had. The narrator, seeing that Robert wanted to smoke some dope with him might have made him feel more comfortable and think Robert as just an normal, easy-going man. Once the wife falls asleep on the couch, we begin to see how Robert begins to open up the narrators eyes. Robert is an insightful and compassionate man who takes the time to truly listen to others , which helps him to “see” them better than he could with his eyes. These are qualities that the narrator is strongly lacking which start to inspire him to change. The only thing on television is a documentary about cathedrals the narrator wonders if Robert knows what a cathedral looks like so he asks him. Roberts asks him to describe the cathedral for him, because he can’t picture one. “I stared hard at the shot of the cathedral on the TV. How could I even begin to describe it? But say my life
Throughout the middle of the story, the narrator is discriminatory towards blind people but suddenly feels the need to make Robert feel comfortable just because it will please his wife. The narrator and his wife were in the kitchen talking, and then the wife says “If you love me, you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay. But if you have a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable” (116). To show that her husband is still prejudice towards blind people, he replies and says “I don’t have any blind friends” (116) which gets his wife upset because Robert is her friend. When the narrator says that he does not have any
The narrator is pre-judgemental towards all people who are blind, whether or not he has met them. He believes all blind people are the same as those he has watched in movies. The narrator perception of the blind is that they “moved slowly and never laughed” and when they went out “they were led by seeing eye-dogs” (Carver 104). The movie industry creates a false image of the blind, which leads to the narrator’s assumptions. However, the blind are not all the same, just like how everyone else in the world are not the same. People are designed to be different in their personalities, thoughts, looks and much more. The narrator’s ideas of Robert are based off of false conceptions and this changes his attitude towards Robert. The narrator already has strong feelings towards Robert before meeting him
The story opens with the narrator giving a background of his wife and Robert. Immediately, it is easy for the audience to form a negative opinion about the narrator. Within the first paragraph of the story he says, “I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me” (Carver 33). This exemplifies his pre-formed opinion about Robert even though he hardly knows anything about him. He clearly is uncomfortable with the fact that Robert is blind, mainly based on his lack of exposure to people with disabilities. The narrator is very narrow-minded for most of this story, making it easy to initially dislike him.
Raymond Carver’s characters were considered to be very much like him: “’on the edge: of poverty, alcoholic self-destruction, loneliness” (Mays 32). His short story “Cathedral” is about a young couple, who have a visitor coming to stay with them. This visitor, Robert, is the wife’s friend, and he is blind.
Through the author's use of diction, more aspects of the narrator's personality are revealed. Simply from word choice, we learn that the narrator is prejudicial towards others, and jealous of other men's relationships with his wife. When facing the situation of Robert coming to town to visit his wife, the narrator blatantly expresses that "a blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to" (Carver 209). This repeated substitution of "blind man"