The Theme Of Epiphany In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In the works of Literature an epiphany is “a moment of profound insight or revelation by which a character’s life is greatly altered” (24). In the short story “Cathedral” Raymond Carver uses epiphany to draw on the theme, blinded views can alter someone’s behavior. On the realistic level, epiphany advances the plot and character development because they are the basis for the story’s central action. They also help define the narrator and play a vital part in revealing the story’s theme. The following changes in the character’s views have shown an evident development.
The narrator, an unnamed man is the most obvious protagonist of the story because he is the person telling the story and changes the most in that story. The narrators actions,
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“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.…show more content…
looking and seeing is different. Looking is simply physical vision. In contrast, seeing is being engaged on a deeper level. The narrator shows that he is capable of looking; looking at his wife, Robert, and his house. The narrator is not blind therefore feel superior. 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
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