Epiphany In Cathedral

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"It's tragic to have sight but no vision." - Hellen Keller This quote applies to Raymond Carver's story "Cathedral", which is about a sighted man who has no spiritual vision and a Blind Man with spiritual enlightenment. By the end of the story the Narrator's third eye is opened with help from the Blind Man.

The Narrator is a very neurotic man. We know that the Narrator is an isolated person based on his own wife stating that he has no friends. The Narrator spends all of his days in front of the t.v. smoking in his house ignoring his wife's emotional needs. The man uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism that coincides with his isolation that may stem from trauma in his past by his family. Trauma from his past may have also caused insecurities
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The Narrator begins to draw the Cathedral when suddenly the Blind Man touches him to help guide the narrator in his illustrations; triggering the epiphany because the narrator is not accustomed to human touch. With the Blind Man guiding him with the drawing the Narrator realizes that the box he is drawing is just like his own house. He may feel boxed in his life. When he begins to draw; he says: " So I began. First I drew a box that looked like a house. It could have been the house I lived in." (12) Perhaps his lack of human contact has blocked his spiritual growth but now with drawing of the Cathedral he can escape his solitude. The Blind Man tells the Narrator to put people into the Cathedral. Drawing the people represents him getting involved with people in his life; Robert tells him to close his eyes and keep drawing. At this point he is in the imaginary Cathedral feeling something strong and awakening. At the very end of the story the Narrator says: " My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything." (13) The Narrator has finally comes out of his box spiritually
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