The State Of Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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When a person ponders the state of blindness, the first thought is usually the impairment of a person’s eyes or the loss of physical vision. However, those who can physically see may possess more blindness than those without sight. In Raymond Carver’s Cathedral, Robert is a blind man who shows the narrator how to look beyond his physical sight and truly “see.” Through interaction with him, Robert instructs the narrator to observe beyond the exterior of a person so as to recognize inner beauty. Drawing a cathedral gives the narrator an opportunity to recognize the deeper meaning of life and understand the significance of true sight. The narrator’s point of view about Robert has importance because it reveals how the willingness to open up and learn from…show more content…
By obeying Robert and closing his eyes while drawing, the narrator enters another realm inside his mind and gains the ability to see past the outside and ponder inner beauty. In a way, his mind can be compared to the cathedral he is drawing; though plain on the outside, there may be incredible magnificence on the inside. Robert shows the narrator how to look past the plain outer shell of his mind and look within. The narrator states: “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything” (76). He was finally able, through a sincere self awareness, to look beyond himself, which would help him become more aware of his wife’s needs and make himself available to her. A cathedral is compared to the soul of a person: what someone allows to be seen on the outside may be very different from their deeper emotions and thoughts. Since the narrator has discovered the beauty of imagination within himself, he may learn to see past the outer appearance of his wife and attempt to understand and connect with
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