Everyone has their own sight, literally and figuratively. No one sees a certain situation exactly the same as another and it seems to be human nature to accept that one's own view is the correct one. This closed mindedness is seen through the first person narration in Raymond Carver's Cathedral. In this short story, the narrator claims a viewpoint with little to no knowledge and creates a barrier between the reader and the depths of who the blind man really is. The narrator exemplifies the human nature of closed mindedness through his journey from his metaphorical blindness to his newfound insight.
This short story portrays the transformation of individual's opinions from strictly black and white to a more open and accepting state. People tend to jump to conclusions without being the least bit educated on the subject. It's interesting how people can have …show more content…
As Robert attempts to get to know the narrator, the narrator details, "Did I like my work? (I didn't) Was I going to stay with it? (What were the options?)" (37). The narrator may not be visually impaired in a literal sense, but he can not see past the surface. In one sense, the narrator is blind to the world around him. He is what he described the blind to have "moved slowly and never laughed" (32). If the reader compared Robert's life with the life of the narrator, which would be more appealing? The narrator is, in his head, stuck in his job, thinking there is no where to go. His idea that the life of the blind is a sad life could be turned around to his oblivious life. The narrator is essentially blind to what life could be. Often times people find themselves just going through the motions of life and not stepping out to go further. Raymond Carver is showing the reader that closing their eyes and becoming blind to what is right in front of them could lead them deeper into
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Readers can understand the elements by reading what the narrator has to say about the blind man. He is always complaining about him before the blind man even gets to his house. The narrator in the beginning did not give the blind man a chance before he started judging him. In a world full of negative things, people should give each other a chance to get to know one
He realizes how smart Robert is, and he keeps being shocked as the night goes on. While listening to a show about Cathedrals, Robert asks the narrator to describe him a Cathedral. The narrator tries his hardest, but can not do it. To combat this, Robert takes the narrator's hand and has him close his eyes and together they draw the church just from memory. After drawing the Cathedrals, the narrator describes the picture as, “ It’s really something” (103).He learns how seeing is not everything in life, and how wrong he was with his assumptions about Robert.
“His being blind bothered me” (Carver 1). In Raymond Carver’s short story Cathedral, Carver establishes an ignorant narrator, who is dependent on alcohol and fixated upon physical appearance; he juxtaposes the narrator to a blind man who sees with his heart rather than his eyes. Through indirect characterization, Carver contrasts the narcissistic narrator to the intuitive blind man while utilizing sight as a symbol of emotional understanding. He establishes the difference between looking and seeing to prove that sight is more than physical.
In both short stories, “Cathedral” written by Raymond Carver and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” written by Flannery O’Connor, we encounter characters that have a limited perspective on life. We find that the unnamed narrator in “Cathedral” has a bias mindset towards the blind man, Robert before he even meets and gets to know him. While in “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother is ignorant of her surroundings while being oblivious to her own flaws. Both stories demonstrate the overcoming of blindness through prejudice and vanity to end up seeing something greater than themselves through the use of characterization, symbolism, and epiphanies. In “Cathedral,” the narrator’s wife invites her blind friend, Robert, to stay in their home
Robert’s wife has recently died and he used to work for the narrator’s wife. Robert comes to visit the narrator’s home and the narrator is not happy about this because he believes blind people to be miserable and gloomy based solely on what he has absorbed from the movies. At the end of the first paragraph, he says, “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (1.1). Little to the narrator’s knowledge, his wife and Robert had been using audio tape to correspond over ten years, and have much past history with each other. The narrator’s wife makes sure he knows to make Robert comfortable, and if he doesn’t it shows that he does not love her.
Robert possesses blindness but is gifted in understanding ignorance. The husband is ignorant to the blindness, yet Robert helps him understand his world of darkness. In the end, the blindness is what unites them and they both observe the same world. The narrator learned that people are not what they seem. He already had an opinion before he had ever even met
And this is an undoubtful argument that the narrator changed throat the story, Robert unconsciously succeeds in bringing new psychological and spiritual opening to
In “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the narrator struggles with an internal conflict that involves him never being able to be in a vulnerable or sensitive state, especially when he is with his wife. The narrator creates suspense by having the reader wait until the end to realize what the blind man was referring to when he states, “From all you’ve said about him, I can only conclude—” (Carver 35). The reader can observe that the blind man was explaining that the husband was missing out on all aspects of life and the little things the world has to offer. The husband was so closed-minded, that he was missing out on having a deeper connection with his wife.
The narrator begins to change as Robert taught him to see beyond the surface of looking. The narrator feels enlightened and opens up to a new world of vision and imagination. This brief experience has a long lasting effect on the narrator. Being able to shut out everything around us allows an individual the ability to become focused on their relationships, intrapersonal well-being, and
In the story, the narrator’s narrow mindset is challenged over and over again as Robert breaks most stereotypes that the narrator held. As these stereotypes are broken, the narrator begins to feel more comfortable with Robert, and sincerely tells him that he is “glad for the company”. This release from prejudice culminates in the cathedral drawing scene of the story, where the narrator finally lets go of his bias towards blind people. Once the narrator closes his eyes, he is seemingly equal to Robert, and he consequently begins to understand Robert’s perspective. His newfound empathy towards Robert demonstrates how he has lost his prejudice towards him.
The author use of the title “Cathedral” was misleading at first. “Cathedral” is about a husband who had an interesting experience with his wife’s blind friend. The narrator, also known as the husband, had difficulty understanding other people thoughts and personal feelings. The narrator knew how important the blind man is to his wife, yet he still makes careless jokes about him. “Maybe I could take him bowling” was a comment made by the narrator after finding out that the blind man was staying over his house.
Conflict is the essence of any literary fiction. The main goal of an author is to tell a story that keeps the reader interested. At the story’s core, conflict is the momentum of happening and change and is crucial on all levels for delivering information and building characterization as well as building the story itself. Conflict is the source of change that engages a reader and keeps them interested. In a story, conflict and action does what description and telling of feelings and situations do not.
In Duong Thu Huong’s Paradise of the Blind, Hang has been placed on a path of self-sacrifice and duty by her family. Her life unfolds in stages- childhood, young adulthood, and her eventual role as an exported worker in Russia. With each of these shifts in her life comes a shift in setting and a shift in her emotional state. Hang’s changing emotional state depicts her “coming of age” and her growth as a character. Setting is important to creation of shift in the novel, and is often described in detail.
However, the story takes an unpredicted and meaningful turn at the end when the narrator see things from a blind man’s standpoint. Since the beginning of the story, the narrator does not like the idea of having in his house a blind man. He does not know how to socialize with blind people because his idea of blindness came from the movies. He thinks blind people move slowly and they never laugh.
In the novel Invisible Man, the writer Ralph Ellison uses metaphors, point of view, and symbolism to support his message of identity and culture. Throughout the story, the narrator’s identity is something that he struggles to find out for himself. Themes of blindness and metaphors for racism help convey the struggle this character faces, and how it can be reflected throughout the world. One theme illustrated in the novel is the metaphor for blindness. Ellison insinuates that both the white and black men are blind, because they do not truly know each other.