Imagery And Symbolism In Robert Carver's Cathedral

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The essay “Cathedral”, by Robert Carver, is about a man who is unsure of a blind gentleman named Robert that is coming to stay in his home for the weekend. His wife met Robert when she was reading to the blind. The narrator of the story who remains unnamed through the essay is not happy about Robert coming to stay in his home. He thought all blind people were the same and Robert taught him what it was like to be blind.

“My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything.” (Pg. 33) I believe this quote is very important in this short story. The narrator is very jealous of Robert and all the attention to detail that his wife is giving Robert. The wife is catering to Robert’s
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The meal and how Robert could eat and not see his food was fascinating but smoking and not being burned was very impressing. The climax of the story was when Robert tells the husband to close his eyes and they finish the drawing together. “Go ahead, bub, draw,” he said. “Draw. You’ll see. I’ll follow along with you. It’ll be okay. Just begin now like I’m telling you. You’ll see. Draw,” the blind man said. (pg. 32) Robert made him think about things differently when he asked him to close his eyes and draw a picture of the cathedral together. He was not able to describe a cathedral to Robert, so Robert placed his hand on top of his and told him to close his eyes and they drew the cathedral…show more content…
It had to have been extremely hard being married to a blind man and him never being able to see what you looked like or anything. “A woman who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from her beloved.” (pg. 22) It also had to be hard on Robert when Beulah passed away because he never got to see her so therefore he could not describe how she looked or anything to anyone.

Lawyer 2

“The truth is, cathedrals don’t mean anything special to me. Nothing. Cathedrals. They’re something to look at on late-night TV. That’s all they are.” (Pg. 32) When trying to describe what a cathedral looked like to the blind man the husband is struggling. But the real reason he can not describe the Cathedral is because it has no meaning to him because he admits he is not religious. After drawing the Cathedral and “feeling” the movement this opened a door in his mind and made it visible.

Robert, the wife, and the husband all gain insight through the drawing of the Cathedral. Robert possesses blindness but is gifted in understanding ignorance. The husband is ignorant to the blindness, yet Robert helps him understand his world of darkness. In the end, the blindness is what unites them and they both observe the same world. The narrator learned that people are not what they seem. He already had an opinion before he had ever even met
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