Sometimes in life, people will have to deal with other people that are judgmental and listen to stereo types when they know nothing about the person. In the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, there are some examples of stereotyping. This story is about a woman who has a good friend of hers and he is blind. The blind man, whose wife had just recently died and was traveling to go visit his family, was stopping at the women’s house overnight. The blind man and the narrator’s wife knew each other.
In the beginning of the story, he was harsh and unloving towards his wife’s blind friend, although by the end he was compassionate and sympathetic to the blind man. At the beginning of “The Cathedral” the narrator is deemed as a non-loving, bad-mannered, and insensitive man, although one evening spent with the blind man
"My idea of blindness came from the movies… A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (261), a quote by Raymond Carver in his short story, “The Cathedral” about being judged before getting to know someone. A blind man, named Robert, got judged by the narrator, also known as Bub because he based Robert on the idea media placed on the blind during their time. The theme of this story does not always believe stereotypes are the way people truly are. The theme speaks to me because my younger brother, Andrew, has autism and he is constantly being judged and criticized for his behavior. Autism is a mental condition that causes difficulty in communicating and forming relationships, but a lot of people do not realize the signs, therefore, it is easy to criticize.
Throughout the story, the Narrator exhibits a lack of self-awareness and insight with the people around him. Not only does this affect how he acts, but also others around him. His personality causes him to have no friends, only his wife, in which he misunderstands a countless number of times. For example, he feels jealous when his wife talks about her preceding husband, the military officer in the flashbacks. The Narrator thought, “Her officer—why should he have a name?” (Carver, 2) Evidently, the imbecilic Narrator was feeling jealous through his thoughts and actions.
In the beginning of the story “Cathedral”, the narrator has a negative attitude towards Robert. He refers to him as ‘the blind man’ for a majority of the story. The narrator seems jealous of his wife’s friendliness when she offers Robert to stay at their house after his wife dies of cancer. Robert finally arrives to their house one evening and the narrator begins to ask him questions like “Which side of the train did you sit on by the way?” thinking the blind man wouldn’t know. He makes several comments like this throughout the story, but drawing the Cathedral with ‘the blind man’ becomes a life changing experience for the narrator.
In Cathedral Carver’s tone is very pessimistic in the beginning, displaying the fact that he is not looking forward to hosting a blind man in his home that he has never met and seemingly has no interest in meeting. The main character talks about the blind men he had seen in the movies and even jokes around with his wife about what activities they could do together, and all the while he has is dreading the upcoming meeting with the old blind man. However the tone takes a turn for the better as the main character talks, drinks, smokes, and ultimately draws with the old man during this eye opening experience. In Little Things and Why Don’t You Dance the author uses a similar tone, one that is sad. In each of the stories there is a divorce taking place in the household and they are in the middle of a separation.
Before Robert even arrives the narrator has an image in his head what a blind person should look like and believes his abilities are superior to any blind person. So, the narrator is rather shocked when he see’s Robert for the first time. He never knew blind people could have a full beard or didn’t wear dark glasses, which come off as strange to the narrator because of his assumption of what a blind person would look like, based off his preconceived notions. The narrator says, “my idea of blindness comes from movies”(citation) which demonstrates that he might be willfully ignorant towards blind people and a reason why he cannot fully understand how a person like Robert is so normal and capable of giving his wife
The story is about two blind men who have a different type of blindness - one is psychologically blind in the mind. The other is a physically blind and visually obstructed. The problem is that the narrator lacks communication with society and his wife and friends. He was ignorant and prejudiced around people with him because he never put his feet on another person's shoes. During the course of the story, he communicated with Robert the blind man who taught him
Envy and Jealousy The narrator the husband in the story Cathedral uses emotion as judgment before getting to know Robert’s wife’s close friend she hasn’t seen him in a while. That was because he didn’t known about the visit she arranged it and planned it. To him it is a blind man a stranger who knows only his wife is coming over for the night. Not the recipe for the good night that is since there are those who aren’t pleased with strangers coming over. Especially if that stranger is known by the spouse things go downhill when Robert reveals more.
That idea of falsification is seen in the quote “My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movie, the blind, moved slowly and never laughed sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs” (Carver 265). Illustrating, societies high regard for the physical ability of seeing in his remark “seeing-eye dogs.” Furthermore, Carver suggests that our reliance on our physical senses, limit us our connection with others as seen in the narrator's relationship with his wife. Additionally, the representation of the eyes as a reflection of one’s soul, mind and heart suggests that be only seeing the physical depiction we create a smoking mirror that doesn’t reflect the truth but the physical view. In Carver’s essay “Cathedral”, the illustration of true sight as something that anyone can reach even without physical sight, exemplifies Carvers questions regarding the value of materialistic value of things including humans rather than the intrinsic
The narrator 's epiphany at the end of "Cathedral" comes with his ability to 'see ' outside of himself, to imagine himself as part of something bigger. The irony is that he is taught to 'see ' by a blind man, and he 'sees ' only through refusing to open his eyes and behold the drawing he has made. The narrator 's attitudes about sight at the beginning of the story exhibit his close-mindedness: he judges Robert for blindness, even though he himself is 'blind ' to the truth of what blindness is (he admits he only knows it through TV). What he learns about sight is that it can be limiting when turned only to the particulars of one 's own life, instead of directed outwards to how we are all connected to
Jean, I agree with your response and I aslo think Curley 's wife is very flirtatious around other men because her husband doesn 't give her attention. Curley 's wife can behave carelessly because there 's no other female around, she feels lonely and has no one to talk to. A good example of this situation can be on page 78 when Curley 's wife was talking about her violent husband. Caroline, I agree with your response. Back then there was racial inequality.