Symbolic Blindness Sometimes insecurities cause people to judge others or criticize based on assumptions and not see things as they truly are. In the short story “Cathedral” the author Raymond Carver describes a narrator that is sarcastic and critical of his wife’s blind friend that is coming for a visit. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes opens up a whole new way of looking at things.
He states: “ Finally, when I thought he was beginning to run down, I got up and turned on the TV. My wife looked at me with irritation” (Carver 7). The narrator is trying to an effort but he is simply not interested in the blind man and wife wants the narrator to consider for her
“I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And being blind bothered me” (104) The narrator has no knowledge of experiencing seeing a blind person. “My idea of blindness came from the movies” (104).
The narrator consistently shows a lack of empathy towards his wife, Robert, and society as a whole. When his wife begins to tell him about the passing of Robert’s wife, all the man can think about is how much of a “pitiful life this woman must have led” since her husband was never going to be able to see her with his eyes (213). His wife then attempts to get her husband to sympathize with Robert since he just lost his wife, Buelah. As soon as he heard Buelah’s name, he asked “Was his wife a Negro?” (212).
The “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, begins with a seemingly “normal” husband is about to come to grips with an old “blind” friend of his wife. As the story progress the reader finds out just the opposite. Throughout the story the reader sees, by his words and actions, that the husband does not “see” or understands what Robert’s (the friend) blindness means, He cannot understand how changed or did not change him as a human. In the beginning of the story Robert seemingly makes the husband feel very uncomfortable, he does not know what to say or how to act around a blind person.
The hidden meaning is the lack of affection and passion that exists between a husband and the wife. Since their marriage more than 20 years ago, lack of sisterhood and interaction between Minnie Wright and her neighbors leads to her isolation. The miser nature John Wright sows discord and lack of trust with his wife leading to a loveless marriage. Sisterhood would manifest by sharing of sorrows among the women and assisting each other to avoid
She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me" (130). Myrtle on the other hand is having affairs with Tom in order to feel the satisfaction of being in the upper class. Myrtle loved her husband Mr. Wilson when they got married, but she got very disappointed by her husband’s lack of money and the social status that she is suffering in for eleven years. Now she is regretting the day she married with him, her sister Catharine says “She really ought to get away from him.
Although there is no clear statement that shows Louise to have an oppressive marriage, there are ambiguous statements about the marriage that show she feels caged. During the event of finding out about Brently’s death, Louise did not respond “as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden wild abandonment” (Chopin), due to Brently’s death she is finally able to let out emotions that she has held in for so many years of being a dutiful wife. Once Louise is left alone to grieve she reflects upon her feelings and her marriage. The narrator points out that Louise knows she will cry again for him when she sees his funeral, remembering his “kind, tender hands...the face that had never looked save with love upon her” (Chopin).
“I’ll turn it down.’ She went out of the room and did nothing to the parlor and came back” (Bradbury, 46). This example shows the large role that the TV played in Mildred’s life. Not even for her ill husband would she turn off let alone turn down a program she was not even actively watching. Place higher value over an inattimate than one 's own spouse is clearly inhumane and lacks compassion.
It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me” (Fitzgerald 116). Fitzgerald wrote Gatsby with language that gave the reader the attitude that Gatsby was not willing to accept any other truth about his love for Daisy. This language allowed the reader to infer that Gatsby did not want to accept the reality that she loved somebody else. Fitzgerald did this to show how “Gatsby” or society was ignorant of reality because
2) and she reads to him and they become good friends. The narrator throughout the story makes it apparent that he does not know his wife on a deeper level like Robert. For instance, when his wife tries to talk to the him, it is apparent that he does not look to converse on a deeper level yet, just go through the motions of his daily life; for example, “Right then my wife filled me in with more detail than I cared to know” (par. 14). Even though Robert cannot physically see the narrator’s wife, he is able to understand her a lot more as he listens to her through the tapes they mail back and forth between each other and have seemingly great in-depth conversations. The narrator makes it apparent that he is envious of their relationship as he reminisced about her poem.
There is a quote that constantly surfaces around throughout the story “What is one to do.” This is said by a woman who is completely powerless to the male population, so she has no choice but to stay. Flannery O’Connor connects this story to the time she went through a mental breakdown and was sent away. Her husband sent her to a man named Weir Mitchel; he was the man that tends to these types of cases. To men, this seemed to be something that wasn’t real.