Blindness is not limited to physical manifestation. In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” the figurative blindness is immediately apparent through the narrator and his shallowness, irrational jealousy, and egotistical personality. His dismissive behavior and ignorance towards the feelings of Robert, his wife’s blind friend, speak negatively of his character and reveals his insecurities. While the narrator’s emotional blindness and Robert’s physical blindness initially inhibits their bond, it eventually leads the narrator to an epiphany and the beginning of a character transformation. The different forms of blindness allow the characters to bond and grow over the course of the story.
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 “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is about true blindness and the effects of emotional contact. Peterson studies the use of determiners, a and the, that refer to the blind man in the story and its effects to establish the atmosphere of the story. He states that the change in determiner seems subtle, but these subtle changes are significant because the changes show how narrator feel about Robert throughout the story. Nesset studies the sexual polices and the love lives in several Carver’s stories. He discusses how Carver wrote his stories based on less of love and more of love withdrawal. Also Facknitz addresses rediscovery of human worth and the effects of emotional touch by discussing three short stories written by Carver. He analyses each narration of the narrator and comments based on psychological manner. The story “Cathedral” suggests the meaning of true blindness does not only refer to physical disability; it refers to those people who cannot see the world from other’s perspectives and it can be overcome through emotional contact.
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,
In Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," the husband's view of blind men is changed when he encounters his wife's long time friend, Robert. His narrow minded views and prejudice thoughts of one stereotype are altered by a single experience he has with Robert. The husband is changed when he thinks he personally sees the blind man's world. Somehow, the blind man breaks through all of the husband's jealousy, incompetence for discernment, and prejudgments in a single moment of understanding.
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is a story that shows the sense of sight in relation to vision, but it shows that the sense of sight requires a much deeper engagement. The narrator, who Robert calls “Bub,” is astonishingly shortsighted or “blind” while the blind man is insightful and perceptive. Bub is not blind, but Robert is. Therefore, he assumes that he is superior to Robert. His assumption correlates with his idea that Robert is unable to make a female happy, nor is he able to have a normal life. Bub is convinced his ability to see is everything. So, he fails to look deeper than the surface and is why he doesn’t know his wife adequately. However, Robert sees much deeper than the narrator, although he cannot look at the surface. Robert’s ability to look deeper helps him understand through his listing and sense of touch. Throughout Robert’s visit, the narrator reveals he is closed minded and exposes how he views life in general. Bub is clobbered and it brings him to the epiphany that his views about Robert are actually a mirror image of how he views his life. His epiphany is shown through the author's use of appearance vs reality, irony, and vernacular dialogue; which shows Bub’s preconceived notations, the connection formed between Bub and Robert, and how out of obliviousness Bub gained insight.
In the short story, Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, the author uses imagery, symbolism and narrates the story in first person point of view. The Cathedral’s main theme is being able to identify the difference between being able to look and/or see and it is portrayed through the main characters role in the story. Carver uses a unique style of writing which gives the short story a simple way for the reader to understand the story’s theme.
Carver is well known for his short stories and poetries. Among his works, “Cathedral” is considered one of the best, favorite, and most optimistic and the most developed. Carver’s story revolves around the theme of seeing and looking. Most people believed they could not live without cathedrals which brought them closer to their God. Similarly, people place so much importance to the physical eyesight and tend to think they can hardly live without it. Robert, a blind man, is invited to the narrator’s home and the narrator is shown troubled by Roberts’s disability. Later on, the narrator is amazed to see the blind smoking despite having even thought of helping him with his drink earlier on (Carver 516- 524). The latter brought to attention that as much as natural looking is essential, more essential is the ability to see or to visualize things. The writer explains that it might be tougher to be without eyesight; however, it is possible to live without it and make the best of what else one has, more so the brain. Visualizing brings out a better view of the significance of life and things surrounding us.
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.
I enjoyed reading “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver. The story is realistic, relatable, and meaningful. The main protagonist, Bub, is arrogant and superficial. Because of Robert’s intimate relationship with his wife, he does not like the blind man. To cover up the fact that he is jealous, he states that he never had a blind man in his house before and that Robert does not have the characteristics he thought blind people have. Robert does not wear glasses, has a beard and etc. On page 90 he says, “I always thought dark glasses were a must for the blind.” This shows that even before he met Bub, he already had some preconceived picture of Bub that hinders him from really getting to know the real Bub. However, towards the end of the story he seems
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” the narrator is seen to show ignorance and bias towards blindness throughout the story, however towards the end he realizes his flaws and the difference between looking and seeing. From the beginning of the story to the end you can see a change within the narrator after his encounter with the blind man. At the end of Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” the narrator hopes to accomplish a change in his understanding of himself, and his experience with Robert flickers this change towards the end of the story.
The act of looking is related to physical vision while the act of seeing involves an enhanced understanding of what it means to truly exist. In the short story “Cathedral”, the narrator is blind to appreciating the human experience until he meets a blind man who ironically becomes the one who teaches him how to see in a way he never knew how. The author Raymond Carver uses symbolism within this story to reinforce the theme of blindness, and the difference between looking and seeing.
The story “Cathedral” demonstrates that lack of sight does not necessarily prevent one from perceiving things as they are, or live their life to the fullest. In the story, a middle-age blind man, who is a friend to the narrator’s wife, and used to be her boss at one point, visits the narrator and his wife. The narrator has never interacted with blind people before, and all he knew about blind people was what he had seen on television. Blind people are stereotypically portrayed on television as slow moving, dull people, who never laugh. Based on this perception, the narrator was reluctant to meet the blind man and doubted whether they were going to connect. This is evident when the narrator states, “I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me” (Carver 1).
Raymond Carver the author of “Cathedral” the narrator in this story has some prejudices, against blind people as well as so discomfort and jealousy towards Robert who is his wife long friend and confidence. In spite of how the narrator feel about Robert he does exactly what his wife asked him to do, helps to make Robert feel comfortable. This is where the reader can see the narrator had integrity. He puts his own person feeling behind him and does everything he can for Robert. For example, making sure Robert understands what's on television. We see leadership and integrity in Robert as well, Robert isn’t just a blind man, he is a man that has seen the world and a person who works with what he was giving and makes the best of his life that he