How would you describe a cathedral to a person who would never be able to see one? In Raymond Carver’s Cathedral, the narrator has to find a solution to this question. The narrator meets his wife’s blind friend, Robert, dreading the rest of the evening. He is constantly surprised by Robert who fails to meet his expectations about blind people, and after an evening not sure how to act around Robert, the narrator turns the television on. A late-night program about cathedrals is on.
The husband dislikes the blind man early in the story. The most important moment of symbolism, is when the husband and the blind man draw the cathedral together. This moment symbolizes the beauty of the Cathedral, and the effect it has on people who experienced the Cathedral in real life. Drawing the Cathedral for the blind man changes the husband point of view on everything. He no longer thinks the blind man is worthless.
The Cathedral short story and the film went two different routes when telling the story. In the reading, I felt as if the husband was being a jerk, jealous, and ignorant about the blind man and the relationship between his wife and the blind man. I could tell that the husband was not too fond of the blind man by reading the first three paragraphs. The way the husband started off the first sentence with “this blind man” as if the blind man did not have a name and. On the other hand, in the beginning of the film the husband seems a little bothered that the blind man was coming over and spending the night.
After allowing the blind man into his home he realized people can be wrong about their images of one another. A handicap can teach you a lot about true love. It was certain that the husband loved his wife. The husband was willing to do whatever he needed to, and make her happy. He did not know how to act around someone with a handicap such as a blind person.
As seen “after the missionaries finished singing, Nwoye pondered about what he just heard, the hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul the question of Ikemefuna who died” (Achebe 128). Okonkwo’s participation in Ikemefuna’s murder ultimately pushed Nwoye to Christianity and this caused Okonkwo to lose respect in himself for not raising a better son.
“Not us” by Mark Holiday, depicts a man’s denial and confusion on death after hearing about an elderly couple who are hospitalized. He tries convincing his beloved that death will not come, but finally he accepts that death will sadly approach everyone. By using repetition, he emphasis his confusion and denial. He does this by repeating the phrase, “They are not us” in different ways creating a distinctive affect each time it is used. Different forms of repetition and symbolism, creates tension within the speaker which helps him realize that death is like a spiraling “Get Well” card ready to slide under someone’s door, helping deflate the tension he has within him.
Marijuana was grown all over Vietnam, and soldiers had easy access to it. It mellowed out the war, and helped them continue fighting. Edward S. Michaelskim, a Vietnam veteran, said, "Everybody did it" referring to drugs and alcohol. In The Things They Carried, drug use is treated like another not-too-pleasing strategy for ignoring the horrors of the war. Some soldiers had families waiting for them at home, some had religion, and others had dope.” In O'Brien's fiction, all drugs are grouped together under the term "dope."
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.
He goes as far as to change his name and pose as a friendly doctor. He uses this to get close to Dimmesdale and now he cannot think of anything else. He neglects his wife and doesnt even care for her. He just wants the man to be shamed as well. He mentally tortures the Reverend and all with glee.
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.