Robert In The Cathedral

1063 Words5 Pages
While it is quite obvious that only one character in this short story is blind, the actions and thoughts portrayed by the narrator show readers that he is the one truly unable to see what is most important in others. Because of the narrator’s one-sided perception of Robert, he comes off as being fearful of the unknown such as being blind. In correlation to the remarks the narrator makes concerning Robert, the way the narrator treats Robert, and through the narrator’s changing attitude, one can see how he may be viewed as a disliked character that is blind to the emotion of others until his life-altering epiphany occurs. From the beginning of “The Cathedral,” the narrator automatically depicts his one-sided perception of what he thinks about…show more content…
The narrator’s discomfort around the man begins when the narrator first ask Robert, “Which side of the train did yous sit on” (89).This question is rather irrelevant because Robert can not see the scenery from either side of the train, so the narrator’s action immediately shows he is uncomfortable around Robert because he is blind. By the narrator asking Robert a question that he is incapable of answering, one can see how he shows no sense of boundaries upon others. Another time the narrator’s discomfort takes over is when he says, “We had us two or three more drinks while they talked about the major things that had come to pass for them in the past ten years. For the most part, I just listened. Now and then I joined in"(91). One can see that the narrator does not "see" or understand what Robert’s blindness means. He does not change Robert as a human being because he does not even see it worth giving an effort to join the conversation. When the narrator’s wife leaves to go upstairs, he cringes at being left alone with Robert, so he asks Robert if he would like to smoke dope. This shows that the narrator is so uncomfortable with the idea of just sitting with Robert that by introducing dope into the mix he can avoid actually having to have a conversation with him. Because of the narrator’s inability to interact with Robert, one is made aware once again of his fear concerning the different life the blind
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