The Theme Of Jealousy In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other,” Robert A. Heinlein says., What most people can not account for is the acknowledgement of the fact that love and jealousy is both there at the same time. Within the short story, “Cathedral”, by Raymond Carver, Carver expresses the theme of how a character who feels an enormous amount of jealousy changes form an encounter throughout the story. The Narrator 's wife invites her old friend, a blind man, by the name of Robert to her home. This triggers an inner conflict within the Narrator. He feels…show more content…
From time to time, the Narrator ends up jumping to conclusions too quickly. As Gisele Bundchen says, “I feel like when people judge me they 're not judging me, because they don 't know who I am.” As the Narrator jumps to conclusions, this affects not only him, but the other people around him, like Robert, which he misunderstood. In addition to this, he has low standards for blind people. For example, when Richard first came in and the Narrator saw him, he thought, “This blind man, feature this, he was wearing a full beard! A beard on a blind man! Too much, I say” (Carver, 4). In short, the Narrator is judging Richard based on his demeanor. Moreover, when his wife told him the name of Richard 's wife, Beulah, the primordial thought that came to mind was, “Her name was Beulah. Beulah! That’s a name for a colored woman” (Carver 3) As shown above, it is evident that he judges Richard’s wife based on her name without ever engaging in a conversation with her. Also, he believes that Robert would be a depressed man. Another belief the Narrator had was that blind men did not smoke since they could not see. The Narrator was thinking, “I remembered having read somewhere that the blind didn’t smoke...they couldn’t see the smoke they exhaled. I thought I knew...that much only about blind people...smoked his cigarette down to the nubbin and then lit another one...filled his ashtray and my wife emptied it” (Carver, 6). Evidently, Richard proved that stereotypes about blind men were not…show more content…
Throughout the story, the Narrator exhibits a lack of self-awareness and insight with the people around him. Not only does this affect how he acts, but also others around him. His personality causes him to have no friends, only his wife, in which he misunderstands a countless number of times. For example, he feels jealous when his wife talks about her preceding husband, the military officer in the flashbacks. The Narrator thought, “Her officer—why should he have a name?” (Carver, 2) Evidently, the imbecilic Narrator was feeling jealous through his thoughts and actions. The Narrator is also jealous of Richard. Later on, before Richard came over, the Narrator says, “Maybe I could take him bowling” (Carver, 3). Even though the Narrator thought that he was amusing, his wife rejected the joke. After hearing this, she said, “If you love me..you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay. But if you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable” (Carver, 3). The Narrator does attempt to do this. In fact, during their conversation during dinner time, he tries to comment on the discussion, but only ends up in embarrassing himself and his wife in the process. Than there is also the fact that he pities what he does not understand. For example, his notion of Richard’s wife leads him to believe she was sorrowful in death. Within the text, the Narrator was thinking, “I’m imagining now—her last thought maybe this: that he never even knew

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