The Importance Of The Husband In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the narrator describes the night when his wife’s blind friend, Robert, comes to visit. From the very beginning of the story, the husband is not thrilled about the upcoming visit and makes sure to express his disdain in various ways. This is because he does not understand Robert’s disability and how it both has and has not affected his way of life. It is because of this that the husband can be seen as a “blind” man as well. In the beginning of the story, before Robert arrives, the wife and husband begin talking about him. During their conversation, the husband refrains from using his name and instead refers to him simply as the “blind man.” This can be taken as the husband not even seeing Robert as a person, but simply a man who is different and even appalling because of his disability.…show more content…
After asking how the train ride was, the husband asks Robert: “Which side of the train did you sit on?” As explained in the story, this was to start a bit of small-talk about the scenic ride along the Hudson. However, the husband is well aware that Robert could not see the scenery. This shows that he doesn’t exactly know how to talk to Robert because he only sees him as the “blind man” instead of a human being. The husband’s mindset has impaired his ability to see Robert as anything other than handicapped. His discomfort is shown again once the three of them finish dinner. He says that his wife sat with Robert on the couch and that they had “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

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