The narrator of Raymond Carver's short story Cathedral starts by saying, "This blind man, an old friend of my wife's, he was on his way to spend the night. "The narrator continues to say that after the blind man's wife died while visiting her relatives in nearby Connecticut, he had called the narrator's wife to arrange a visit of old friends. The narrator admits he is not excited about this man coming to visit his wife. "He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to." Soon enough, the narrator would come to look at being blind in a much different way and even come to realize that he himself is being blind.
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. From that moment, the narrator show his true side to me. It shows that he doesn’t not care about his wife feeling toward the blind man. After carefully reading “cathedral”, the narrator is jealous of the blind man relationship with his
Renowned author, Raymond Carver, skillfully weaves dramatic and situational irony throughout his short stories, Cathedral, Neighbors, and They’re Not Your Husband. Situational irony is when the opposite of what is expected to happen, occurs. In Cathedral, and They 're Not Your Husband situational irony is amply evident. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something that the characters do not. In Neighbors and They’re Not Your Husband, dramatic and situational irony are both utilized. Readers can appreciate the subtly placed examples of dramatic and situational irony throughout the works of Carver.
The husband’s actions and behavior change drastically throughout “Cathedral”. He went from a stubborn attitude towards Robert to being sympathetic at the end. The very first line of Cathedral the husband refers to Robert as “this blind man”, which gives you a little taste of his attitude towards blind people. The husband isn’t very enthusiastic about Robert coming to stay with him and his wife because 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.
“Cathedral” is a short and warm story written by Raymond Carver. The author portrays the story in the first person narrative. Carver presents the interaction between an unnamed couple and a blind man by the name of Robert, who is visiting them. The story is told by the husband, the narrator, who is a prejudiced, jealous, and insecure man with very limited awareness of blindness. This theme is exposed through Carver’s description of the actions of the narrator whose lack of knowledge by stereotyping a blind man. However, the story takes an unpredicted and meaningful turn at the end when the narrator see things from a blind man’s standpoint.
“I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And being blind bothered me” (104) The narrator has no knowledge of experiencing seeing a blind person. “My idea of blindness came from the movies” (104). With this, readers could sense that the narrator is jealous, grouchy, and angry that Robert’s presence affects the narrator’s wife because of the connection between both the wife and Robert. The author prepares readers for the enlightenment when Robert came for a visit and that is how cathedral came about. The narrator explains, “The TV showed this one cathedral” (110). In this scene, the narrator and Robert bonded about the appearance of the cathedral. Instantly, the narrator says to Robert, “Do you have any idea what a cathedral is? What they look like, that is? Do you follow me? If somebody says cathedral to you, do you have any notion what they’re talking about? Do you know the difference between that and a Baptist church, say” (111)? Robert is beginning to affect the narrator. Furthermore, the narrator is starting to realize that he enjoys Robert’s company as well as compelled to explore Robert’s eye sight limits, to help Robert visualize a cathedral. The narrator tries to describe a cathedral, but failed to do so, and retreats back into cynicism. The narrator’s response Robert’s question was, “the truth is, cathedrals don’t mean anything special to me. Nothing cathedrals.
A Cathedral is a place for people to go and worship, to connect with God. By drawing the Cathedral the narrator is in some ways also making a connection. For the first time, he appears to be able to see. The narrator's ignorance and preconceptions fade away because he sees that although Robert has the gift of knowing and understanding people. There is also a sense of irony at the end of the story. The narrator’s eyes are closed and he is being led by a blind man, yet he is able to see. Carver never explains what it is the narrator sees, but there is the sense that he has found a connection and is no longer detached or isolated. The narrator is faced with a stark realization and glimmer of hope.Hope for new views, new life and probably even new identity. Even the narrator’s wife is surprised by the fact that her husband and Robert really get along together.And this is an undoubtful argument that the narrator changed throat the story, Robert unconsciously succeeds in bringing new psychological and spiritual opening to
The short story, "Cathedral" is told through first person narrative. The author Raymond Carver uses this point of view to tell the story through the perspective of an unknown narrator. In the beginning of the story, the audience learns that the narrator is
Cathedral’s plot centers around a blind man named Robert who after his wife dies, he lives with his departed wife’s friend who soon alongside her husband, helps teach Robert to learn a new way of seeing. The plot of the story while simple, is very complex under the surface, being a plot that is about three people who is dependent on each other and the connection that develops. As the story develops, the narrator grows to like Robert, and as the story ends we see the two draw a cathedral together which allows the narrator see a new side of everything and allow for him to be more connected to the blind man and his wife. This plot is commonly seen in many different media’s, but it’s used more cleverly here, as it allows for characters to flow with the story while not sacrificing the story being mediocre. In saying this, the plot of this story is very character-centric and is vital to helping to advance the story.
Raymond Carver is said to be one the most influential American writers and poets in the 20th century, especially in his works of short stories. One of his most famous pieces is “Cathedral.” This well-known short story is the final piece in Carver’s collection Cathedral published in 1983. Carver includes much symbolism through the story’s plot, structure, point of view, tone, and character build. The depictions of each character’s experiences, the irony in the story, and hearing the narrator’s point of view in “Cathedral” work in harmony to support its themes that prejudice and ignorance as well as the nature of reality are present and change throughout the course of the story, and all lead to a strong character development by the close.
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. Throughout the story the reader can affirm that the wife has a deep, strong relationship with the blind man. The wife and the blind man share an intimate and vulnerable moments together; one includes when she lets him touch her face so he can remember her. Similarly, the narrator gets to share an intimate moment with Robert that leads to an epiphany. The epiphany that the narrator experiences when drawing a cathedral refers to seeing life from Robert, the blind man’s, point of view and seeing the struggles as well as life experiences a blind man must encounter on a daily basis. However, the focal point within the story occurs when the narrator gets to have a vulnerable moment with the blind man that he has never encountered before, and it makes him feel liberated.
However, the story unwinds when Bub and Robert seem to have created some sort of bond. After hours of talking through the night the narrator happens to find out Robert isn’t as bad as he thought. He realizes Robert is just another man and poses no threat to him or his relationship with his wife. The two men stay up for hours talking about all sorts of things. Towards the end of the night the two men share a moment that ends the story well. Robert asks about the narrator’s religion which brings them to the topic of Cathedrals. Since Robert is blind he doesn’t know exactly what a Cathedral is and only can picture a normal building and what he thinks it might be like. As they continue to talk, Robert asks for some paper and a pen. Robert takes Bub’s hand and tells him to draw a Cathedral. Robert continues to cheer Bub on and continue drawing. Robert then asks him to close his eyes and continue to draw this way. After the drawing is complete Bub keeps his eyes closed and this leads us to believe his is finally at peace with Robert being there. Bub states, “But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer.” (Carver 87). With this statement, Bub insists keeping his eyes closed and he seems to feel
In his contemporary short story, “Cathedral,” Raymond Carver tells the story of an unnamed narrator, his wife, and an old friend, a blind man named Robert. Robert has come to visit the narrator’s wife, who is quite excited to see this man whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, yet the same can’t be said of the narrator who is noticeably and vocally uncomfortable about his visit. The story is told through the narrator’s first person point of view, showcasing his thoughts and the events that take place when Robert comes to visit. Carver highlights the theme of having the ability to see, but not truly seeing, through his use of colloquial language, and creation of relatable characters.