The Reality Of Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Have you ever thought about what your life would be without your sense of sight? It certainly seems like the author of “Cathedral”, Raymond Carver, has. Throughout the story, the narrator and his wife invite one of the wife’s friends to stay at the couple’s house for a while. The wife met a man, named Robert, through assisting him with a number of tasks over a past summer, due to Robert’s lack of sight. The wife and Robert develop an unconventional and seemingly unlikely friendship (due to gender roles for those times). Carver masterfully and vividly guides the reader through the narrator’s first true and meaningful encounter with a blind man, who in turn, widely opens the narrator’s eyes to the true reality of blindness; not just the drawbacks. Through the seemingly simple act of drawing a cathedral on a shopping bag, the narrator is thrust into the blind man’s shoes, as he comes to understand how the blind man interacts and interprets the world.
When the narrator first hears that Robert is coming to stay, he starts preparing for Robert’s stay by thinking of him almost as an opponent in some competition, with the narrator’s wife as the prize. The narrator degrades Robert and suggests various
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The treatment of women must have been near atrocious if the narrator’s wife looks forward to one of her friend’s visits, especially since she knows that he will treat her, most likely, better than her husband. She revels in the spotlight, and doesn’t seem at all concerned or worried how included into the conversation the narrator feels. Eventually, the narrator’s wife leaves the conversation, and the narrator is left without a buffer to deal with Robert. This, I believe, opens his eyes to his wife’s reality and standard of living, while also making him sympathize more with
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