Character Analysis Of Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.” (Robert A. Heinlein) Within the short story, Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, the theme of how a character changes through an encounter is expressed throughout the story. The Narrator's wife invites her old friend, a blind man by the name of Robert after his wife’s death to her home. This triggers an inner conflict within the Narrator. He feels jealousy towards Robert and misunderstands him due to his disability. Carver expresses the Narrator's change by his uncertainty in his confidence. Even…show more content…
“I feel like when people judge me they're not judging me, because they don't know who I am” (Gisele Bundchen). As the Narrator jumps to conclusions, this affects not only him, but the other people around him, like Robert, which he misunderstood. In addition to this, he has low standards for blind people. For example, when Richard first came in and the Narrator saw him, he thought, “This blind man, feature this, he was wearing a full beard! A beard on a blind man! Too much, I say” (Carver, 4). In short, the Narrator is judging Richard based on appearance. Moreover, when his wife told him the name of Richard's wife, Beulah, the first thing that came to mind was, “Her name was Beulah. Beulah! That’s a name for a colored woman” (Carver 3) As shown above, it is evident that he judges his wife based on her name. Also, he believes that Robert would be a depressed man. Another belief the the Narrator had was that blind men did not smoke since they could not see. The Narrator was thinking, “I remembered having read somewhere that the blind didn’t smoke...they couldn’t see the smoke they exhaled. I thought I knew...that much only about blind people...smoked his cigarette down to the nubbin and then lit another one...filled his ashtray and my wife emptied it” (Carver, 6). Evidently, Richard proved that stereotypes about blind men were not necessarily…show more content…
Not only does this affect how he acts, but also others around him. His personality causes him to have no friends, only his wife, in which he misunderstands a countless number of times. For example, he feels jealous when his wife talks about her previous husband, the military officer in the flashbacks. The Narrator thought, “Her officer—why should he have a name?” (Carver, 2) Even though it was not stated, it is evident that the Narrator was feeling jealous through his thoughts and actions. The Narrator is also jealous of Richard. Later on, before Richard came over, the Narrator says, “Maybe I could take him bowling” (Carver, 3). Even, though the Narrator that he was amusing, his wife was not pleased with his joke.“If you love me,” she said, “you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay. But if you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable” (Carver, 3). The Narrator did try to do this. In fact, during their conversation during dinner time, he tries to comment on the discussion, but only ends up in embarrassing himself and his wife in the process. Than there is also the fact that he pities what he does not understand. For example, he believes the blind man’s wife was sorrowful in death. Within the text, the Narrator was thinking, “I’m imagining now—her last thought maybe this: that he never even knew what she looked
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