What would one expect to be the attitude of a man whose wife has just invited, what seems a lot like a past love interest, to come stay with them? It is such a character as the narrator that Raymond Carver portrays in his famous story “Cathedral”. Said visitor is a blind man who goes by the name of Robert. The narrator, who’s name we never learn, shows no sympathy towards the man throughout the story, even after finding out about the loss of his beloved wife. It isn’t until the two men come together to sketch a Cathedral that the narrator is able to change his perspective after “seeing” what he couldn’t “see” prior to this epiphanic experience.
The evening is spent breaking down misconceptions. Robert even watches, or rather, listens, to television. The author’s moment of epiphany appears as the narrator begins to describe a cathedral shown on the television. Relying on his eyes, our narrator is not successful in describing what is on the television, which required further definition. Robert suggests that they draw one together and the author accepts. This shows our narrator has already begun to see Robert as an equal. He is now starting to refer to him as Robert and not the “blind man”. Our narrator now realizes that blind people aren’t any different from those who can see. They sit at a table and begin to draw while Robert puts his hands over the narrator’s in order to feel the shapes and sizes of the cathedral they are drawing. The narrator is starting to open his eyes but not fully. Not until Robert says: “Close your eyes now.” The narrator closes his eyes and begins to draw. He starts to realize they are relying on feeling, which makes them the same. While closing his eyes and drawing the cathedral with Robert, he feels that “it was like nothing else in my life up to now.” This statement shows the change happening within the narrator. He has been negative towards Robert up until this point when he puts himself in someone else's shoes. His epiphany becomes clear with the closing lines of the story: “It’s really
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” he writes a story about a husband's journey to his epiphany. Robert, a blind man, teaches the husband how to see without his eyes. Often a person with the ability to see takes this for granted, leaving them only to see what is on the outside rather than seeing people, and things for what they really are. In this short story, Carver conveys the narrators epiphany through the symbol of the cathedral.
In Raymond Carvers, short story titled “Cathedral” is about a story of a man (narrator) journey of enlightenment to gain true sight. Through, the creative use of characterization and symbolism Carver is able to bring forth issues regarding materialism. Examples of characterization include, Robert (blind-man) who has the ability to see beyond his physical blindness as well as the narrator who isn’t physically blind but lacks true sight and his wife who has obtained true sight. In the begging of the story, Carver provides exposition on Robert and the wife’s connection which renders a moment of crisis for the narrator, her husband. At first the character of the narrator seems static and flat, but as his journey of enlightenment develops he is
In Raymond Cavers “Cathedral” the idea of vision, at first is that Robert is a blind man, he physically cannot see, and the narrator is bothered by that. But as the story progresses we realize that the idea of vision has a deeper meaning then we first interpreted.
In the story Cathedral, the narrator is the husband of a wife who has kept in touch with her old boss from years past. The boss is Robert, a blind man whose wife has just passed away. After his wife’s death, Robert was invited to visit and stay with an ex-employee. The husband doesn’t want the blind man to stay over at his house because he is jealous of Robert. The husband’s wife has kept in touch with the blind man for the last 10 years. The husband doesn’t like the fact that “she and the blind man had kept in touch” (314). His wife put in time and effort to communicate with Robert, and this made her husband jealous. These two men have one thing in common, and that is the wife. She is in both of their lives. The husband had never met a blind man and didn’t want Robert in his house. The husband states, “Maybe I can take him bowling” (315) to keep Robert from staying at his house. The wife tries
Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” illustrates how the lack of one of the five senses, such as sight, does not always equate to a limited view of the world. Despite Robert’s inability to see physical world, he has the ability to relate to people on an intimate level and gain a deeper understanding of who they truly are even though he will never be able to see their physical bodies. The narrator, however, suffers from a metaphorical blindness which prevents him from seeing the world in a more empathetic light. Ironically, it takes a blind man to teach the narrator how to truly see the world.
Intoxicants can have a vast impact on human behavior, whether they are legal or illegal substances. People consuming intoxicants can be observed in music, movies, TV shows, or even literature. In “Cathedral,” the characters consume both alcohol and marijuana. As one reads the story, he or she can observe the effects these substances have on the characters in “Cathedral.” One character in particular, the narrator, can be observed to have been affected by the substances. In the beginning of the story, he is openly against the blind man, but as the story progresses, his attitude appears to change after he consumes the intoxicants. The narrator in “Cathedral” is biased against
He does not return to her doorstep and present it like a holy grail, his proclamation of love sending her into a delicate swoon. As much as the boy and the reader might hope for such a romantic outcome, the reality is far more pedestrian. The boy arrives at Araby as it is already beginning to close, and is so overwhelmed and intimidated by its silent, unfriendly atmosphere that he leaves empty-handed, shop lights flickering out around him (Joyce, p. 383). The final line is sobering: “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger (Joyce, p. 383).” In his lofty imaginings the boy has imagined himself not as who he is, but as who he wishes to be - a figure out of a fairy tale, “[bearing his] chalice safely through a throng of foes (Joyce, p. 380).” In these last few lines, the protagonist discovers something uglier, but far more grounded in reality. He sees his quest borne from infatuation as nothing but a childish vanity. He has achieved self-reflection, a sense of scale that puts his actions into necessary perspective. Joyce has pulled back the veil and revealed the true masterplot at the heart of this story: the Initiation into wisdom, painful though it may
Can you imagine a life without sight? In the short story Cathedral, the readers come across a man named Robert who lives with such blindness. Robert is the friend of the protagonist's wife and stays at their house after visiting some family. This story focuses on the thoughts and actions of the protagonist who is only referred to as the husband. He starts the story with a brief overview of his wife's past and how she met Robert. After filling the readers in, he picks up the story with a conversation between him and his wife before the visit. He expresses some uncomfortableness with him staying at their house since he does not know Robert, and his blindness made his nervous. His wife asks him to try and make him comfortable
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” the narrator in the story a man who could not clearly see the world around him, has a limited awareness about blindness. He went from being a little prejudiced and superficial to having a break through by socializing with a blind man. Beneath the surface he finds a revelation about himself.
“Araby” by James Joyce and “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver portray several similarities and differences regarding themes, motifs, and epiphanies. For instance, there is one definite similarity in that both stories reveal the importance of true insight. Moreover, Araby perceives Megan’s sister as a perfectionist Maiden for whom the Knight strives. The boy looks across the street and worships from far the girl who in his opinion is a paragon, but in the end comes to know that she is just another girl in the bazaar. He sees himself at the market as he carries her parcels and bore the chalice carefully through a throng of foes. In Cathedral, the narrator thinks that he is superior to a blind man Robert, who cannot see, but in the end
There is a man walking down the road, struggling every step, reaching his hands out against the wall in order to walk straight. A group of kids are next to him, laughing and pointing. The man is blind. But, these kids that are laughing at this man are the one’s who are truly blind. In the short story, “Cathedral”, Carver delves into the issue of blindness. He makes the reader begin to question, is it more important to be physical blind or intellectually blind? Carver juxtaposes the two main characters- the narrator and Robert- by utilizing their differences in order to suggest that intellectual blindness is more limiting than physical blindness.