Raymond Carver Cathedral Essay

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A person’s inability to see is often taken for granted as it is in “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver (1981). The title suggests the story is about an actual cathedral, however, it is about two men who are blind, one physically and one figuratively. One of the men is Robert, the physically blind man, a friend of the narrator’s wife; the other is the narrator himself, the figuratively blind man. Carver displays the development of the naïve narrator throughout the story through narration, a moment of epiphany, and symbolism. Carver uses first-person narration to tell the story of “Cathedral”. His choice of first-person point of view for the narrator provides a clearer portrayal of his feelings and attitude. Although the husband, the narrator, has…show more content…
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
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