The Importance Of Sight In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In the novel “Cathedral” By Raymond Carver, many themes and motifs are subtlety hinted throughout, a major motif that stood out to me was the presence of sight throughout the story and what deeper meaning it has towards the characters. “Cathedral” is a short story about a dissatisfied man who timidly allows his wife’s old friend stay at their house after his wife passes away. The man’s name is Robert and he happens to be blind this unsettles the narrator because of his preconceived notions and expectations of what a blind person should be like. As the story goes on the reader realizes that maybe the narrator may be the one who actually cannot see the world around him, which leads to an Epiphany. Blindness is a dominant motif in this story, and it serves multiple metaphorical functions. Perhaps the most obvious of these functions is that Robert’s literal blindness is a foil to the narrator’s, which is not physical but social and emotional.…show more content…
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
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