Symbolic Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Symbolic Blindness Sometimes insecurities cause people to judge others or criticize based on assumptions and not see things as they truly are. In the short story “Cathedral” the author Raymond Carver describes a narrator that is sarcastic and critical of his wife’s blind friend that is coming for a visit. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes opens up a whole new way of looking at things.
The narrator is not very open to meeting his wife’s friend Robert because he has never known or be around anyone blind before. He states his “idea of blindness came from the movies”. (1) His outlook in the beginning of the story shows a person that is very judgmental of blind people. He is uncomfortable with the idea of having a blind person
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He sees that what he thought about Robert's life was not at all what it was. Sometimes our lives are built on what we see and how we think others people see us. He learns that Robert sees and communicates by seeing in his mind not with his eyes. As both were watching television Robert ask the narrator to tell him what a cathedral looks like. The narrator couldn’t imagine how he was going to describe what a cathedral looked like. What was his opinion, knowledge or assumption of what a cathedral was and how he could describe what is looked like? He tried but couldn’t explain or communicate very well what the cathedral looked like even as he was looking at it on the television. Robert asked the narrator to get paper and a pen. “We’ll draw one together”. (110) As Robert held the narrator’s hand, he started to draw a cathedral and he could see it in his mind. He asked the narrator to close his eyes while he was drawing. When Robert thought they were finished with the drawing, he asked him to take a look at it and tell him what he thought. (130) The narrator didn’t want to open his eyes, he could still see the cathedral in his mind and described it as “really
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