The unnamed narrator does not see Robert, the blind man, as a person, but as someone different. The grandmother, on the other hand, believes in her appearance and belief that is better than other people. After the challenges they both face, they end up finding enlightenment. In “Cathedral,” the narrator was not certain on how to describe the Cathedral to Robert. The narrator resorts to drawing and with a pen in his hand, he had realized that Robert “closed his hand over my hand” and asks the narrator to “close your eyes” as they drew the Cathedral (75-76).
However, he abided his wife's rules and was nice and kept his thoughts to himself. The narrator's judgmental and prejudice side was highlighted by the use of Carver's use of characterization. Toward the end of the story, the narrator begins to listen and respect Robert even with his condition. Even though he starts to think more respectively toward Robert, he still worries about the blind man. However once they start to bond over the TV topic of cathedrals, his mind and thoughts begin to change.
The author use of the title “Cathedral” was misleading at first. “Cathedral” is about a husband who had an interesting experience with his wife’s blind friend. The narrator, also known as the husband, had difficulty understanding other people thoughts and personal feelings. The narrator knew how important the blind man is to his wife, yet he still makes careless jokes about him. “Maybe I could take him bowling” was a comment made by the narrator after finding out that the blind man was staying over his house.
he was on his way to spend the night. His wife had died” (Carver 84). This shows his attitude towards blind people by pointing out that Robert is blind, and not just an “old friend of [his] wife’s” (Carver 84). Carver develops the two main characters to completely contrast one and other both physically, and psychologically.
The narrator’s eyes are closed and he is being led by a blind man, yet he is able to see. Carver never explains what it is the narrator sees, but there is the sense that he has found a connection and is no longer detached or isolated. The narrator is faced with a stark realization and glimmer of hope. Hope for new views, new life and probably even new identity. Even the narrator’s wife is surprised by the fact that her husband and Robert really get along together.
After a small introduction when the two characters first meet, the narrator recognizes that he “didn’t know what else to say” (Carver, 4), signifying his inability in connecting with Robert. A reason behind the trouble in connecting is discussed in “Literary Analysis of Cathedral” by Niwar A. Obaid, where he writes “The narrator’s apparently judgmental and doubtful tone… [set] a difficult attitude once the blind man and the narrator actually meet”. Obaid lists the narrator’s tone as one of the primary reasons why the narrator is reluctant to get to know Robert better. Since the narrator’s tone is caused by his prejudices, as previously shown, one can infer from Obaid’s writing that the real reason behind the narrator’s reluctance to form a relationship is his prejudice against the blind. Later in the story, Carver juxtaposes Robert’s readiness to learn more about the narrator to the narrator’s initial refusal to develop a relationship to Robert.
Throughout the story the reader can affirm that the wife has a deep, strong relationship with the blind man. The wife and the blind man share an intimate and vulnerable moments together; one includes when she lets him touch her face so he can remember her. Similarly, the narrator gets to share an intimate moment with Robert that leads to an epiphany. The epiphany that the narrator experiences when drawing a cathedral refers to seeing life from Robert, the blind man’s, point of view and seeing the struggles as well as life experiences a blind man must encounter on a daily basis.
In his contemporary short story, “Cathedral,” Raymond Carver tells the story of an unnamed narrator, his wife, and an old friend, a blind man named Robert. Robert has come to visit the narrator’s wife, who is quite excited to see this man whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, yet the same can’t be said of the narrator who is noticeably and vocally uncomfortable about his visit. The story is told through the narrator’s first person point of view, showcasing his thoughts and the events that take place when Robert comes to visit. Carver highlights the theme of having the ability to see, but not truly seeing, through his use of colloquial language, and creation of relatable characters. “Cathedral” begins with the narrator informing the audience
As the story develops, the narrator grows to like Robert, and as the story ends we see the two draw a cathedral together which allows the narrator see a new side of everything and allow for him to be more connected to the blind man and his wife. This plot is commonly seen in many different media’s, but it’s used more cleverly here, as it allows for characters to flow with the story while not sacrificing the story being mediocre. In saying this, the plot of this story is very character-centric and is vital to helping to advance the story. Within this story the character
The narrator begins to change as Robert taught him to see beyond the surface of looking. The narrator feels enlightened and opens up to a new world of vision and imagination. This brief experience has a long lasting effect on the narrator. Being able to shut out everything around us allows an individual the ability to become focused on their relationships, intrapersonal well-being, and
Robert loves his wife and views her as his soulmate rather than a body to fill empty space. Robert’s physical blindness does not hold him back from feeling, while the narrator’s emotional lack of sight proves more
Robert literally can’t see, but he does obtain vision only on a deeper level. The narrator isn’t too enamored with the idea of another man coming to his home. He is insensitive and makes some harsh comments that make Robert feel a little uncomfortable. Due to his callous and unsympathetic personality, the narrator is never able to connect with his wife while Robert is instantly able to. Robert comes to visit the narrator and his wife at their home for the first time.
Robert’s wife has recently died and he used to work for the narrator’s wife. Robert comes to visit the narrator’s home and the narrator is not happy about this because he believes blind people to be miserable and gloomy based solely on what he has absorbed from the movies. At the end of the first paragraph, he says, “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (1.1). Little to the narrator’s knowledge, his wife and Robert had been using audio tape to correspond over ten years, and have much past history with each other. The narrator’s wife makes sure he knows to make Robert comfortable, and if he doesn’t it shows that he does not love her.
Robert then asks him to close his eyes and continue to draw this way. After the drawing is complete Bub keeps his eyes closed and this leads us to believe his is finally at peace with Robert being there. Bub states, “But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer.” (Carver 87).
The narrator finally understands how Robert can love a woman or even just eat dinner being blind, since looking is not as important as he once thought. The townspeople were also just as wrong about Miss. Emily. When Emily dies, the townspeople are let into