It also symbolizes the discovery of artistic talent and the desire to open up to somebody and listen. Robert teaches the narrator to truly see for himself for the first time despite Robert being blind alone. The metaphor the blind leading the blind is shown by Robert leading the narrator to draw a creation into
An old friend of the narrator "Robert,'' is the blind man in the story. When the sighted man tries to explain what a cathedral is like to the blind man, his words fail. One man relies on vision to communicate, the other does not. It was like they spoke different languages. At the end of the story when the narrator says "My eyes were still closed.
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).
During their channel surfing, Roberts tells the narrator that he’s all right with watching whatever because, “...I’m always learning something. Learning never ends. It won’t hurt me to learn something tonight.” This line represents the entirety of their time together, Robert learning as he always does, and the narrator following his lead, getting to know and learn about Robert, who he was so uncertain about, as he does the same for him. As they learn about one another, they’re also learning about other things from the TV, consolidating what little miscellaneous knowledge they have about cathedrals and other things related to them (285).
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.
The narrator in the story represents a person who sees but cannot “see” and Robert as the character who can “see” but lacks the ability to see with his eyes. The cathedral that the narrator draws with the blind man represents the ability to see beyond the surface of things, and find underlying deeper meanings to things. Before drawing with Robert the narrator was so close
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.
In the story, the narrator’s narrow mindset is challenged over and over again as Robert breaks most stereotypes that the narrator held. As these stereotypes are broken, the narrator begins to feel more comfortable with Robert, and sincerely tells him that he is “glad for the company”. This release from prejudice culminates in the cathedral drawing scene of the story, where the narrator finally lets go of his bias towards blind people. Once the narrator closes his eyes, he is seemingly equal to Robert, and he consequently begins to understand Robert’s perspective. His newfound empathy towards Robert demonstrates how he has lost his prejudice towards him.
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.
He takes note of the simple things, like the awkward silence at dinner, where “we ate everything there was to eat on the table,” (Carver 45), and how they “got up from the table and left the dirty plates,” (Carver 45). Nothing too exciting happens, aside the narrator, when he “asked if he wanted to smoke some dope with me,” (Carver 55). Carver creates a very relatable story that mainly showcases ordinary people doing ordinary things. Although seeming to be anticlimactic for the majority of the story, these dull moments lead to a very important event. Robert and the narrator sit on the couch after the wife has fallen asleep, watching TV, when a documentary about cathedrals comes on.
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
Furthermore, the narrator is starting to realize that he enjoys Robert’s company as well as compelled to explore Robert’s eye sight limits, to help Robert visualize a cathedral. The narrator tries to describe a cathedral, but failed to do so, and retreats back into cynicism. The narrator’s response Robert’s question was, “the truth is, cathedrals don’t mean anything special to me. Nothing cathedrals.
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 asks about the narrator’s religion which brings them to the topic of Cathedrals. Since Robert is blind he doesn’t know exactly what a Cathedral is and only can picture a normal building and what he thinks it might be like. As they continue to talk, Robert asks for some paper and a pen. Robert takes Bub’s hand and tells him to draw a Cathedral. Robert continues to cheer Bub on and continue drawing.
He realizes how smart Robert is, and he keeps being shocked as the night goes on. While listening to a show about Cathedrals, Robert asks the narrator to describe him a Cathedral. The narrator tries his hardest, but can not do it. To combat this, Robert takes the narrator's hand and has him close his eyes and together they draw the church just from memory. After drawing the Cathedrals, the narrator describes the picture as, “ It’s really something” (103).He learns how seeing is not everything in life, and how wrong he was with his assumptions about Robert.