“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.
Robert’s wife has recently died and he used to work for the narrator’s wife. Robert comes to visit the narrator’s home and the narrator is not happy about this because he believes blind people to be miserable and gloomy based solely on what he has absorbed from the movies. At the end of the first paragraph, he says, “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to” (1.1). Little to the narrator’s knowledge, his wife and Robert had been using audio tape to correspond over ten years, and have much past history with each other. The narrator’s wife makes sure he knows to make Robert comfortable, and if he doesn’t it shows that he does not love her.
“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.
Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” is narrated by a man who is unhappy that his wife is friends with a blind man. He has not ever known any blind people in his life and he has many ill conceived conceptions about them and how they perceive the world. The narrator unfolds the story slowly to show his own lack of perception with regard to his wife and the world around him. He comes to realize that perhaps the man that cannot see with his eyes can “see” reality better than he can.
People can understand the tone by reading what the narrator has to say about the blind man. The narrator explains to the wife that he really did not want a blind man at his house, and won’t know how to act with a blind man. Instead of giving the blind man a chance, he starts complaining. The narrator would make jokes like “what side of the train did you sit on” (Carver,133), not thinking the old man could answer, although he could. The narrator also would stereotype the blind man by saying to himself, “I thought glasses were a must for blind people” (Carver,133).
Within the beginning of Cathedral, the narrator who happens to be the husband, starts to describe his wife’s friendship with a blind man known as Robert. This blind man and the wife had something the husband’s marriage lacked–communication. He could not understand how the blind man Robert was able to marry, have sex and sleep together with his wife, Beulah. The husband started felt sorry for Robert: Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved ones (Carter 262).
In the short story Cathedral, written by Raymond Carver, a blind man, a friend of the narrator’s wife comes and stays with them overnight. In this visit, the narrator is able to overcome his own blindness and open his eyes to a new view. It is shown that it is in a character’s personality that a story’s action comes about and the plot is developed. Carver uses the characterization of the narrator in this story to give conflict and resolution as well as bringing about the idea that “they’re no different from the rest
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. “Cathedral” begins with the narrator informing the audience
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” written in 1983, the author points out that empathy and perspective are the only way to truly experience profound emotion. The narrator is struggling is sucked into his own comfort zone, he drowns his dissatisfaction on life, marriage, and job in alcohol. A man of limited awareness breaks through his limitations by socializing with a blind man. Despite Roberts physical limitations, he is the one who saved narrator from himself and helped him to find the ones vies of the world.
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.
The story revolves around three characters, a husband who is also referred to as Bub, his wife, and a blind man, Robert. The story begins with the wife reminiscing back at the times that she shared with Robert. She continues to talk about how much she enjoyed spending time with him. She talks about how she has kept in touch with him and how she has even written about Robert before. Even though the narrator doesn’t directly state to his wife, he happens to be “irritated” (Facknitz) by the fact his wife tends to have a connection with Robert.
The protagonist in Raymond Carver’s essay “Cathedral” is the husband of the wife in the story. From the start he was never too thrilled to be having the blind man stay with him in his home. He felt uncomfortable and he also had no idea what to expect because he had never been around a blind man before. After his wife falls asleep the man seems to slowly start to have a more open mind when it comes to the blind man. They start to talk and connect.
Although Robert is blind, he is very attuned to that deeper level of seeing that closely resembles what having faith is like. Likewise, he sees things others, such as the narrator cannot, and has great wisdom that we see has helped the narrator’s wife. Robert is trying to help the narrator begin to see on that deeper level when he says, “That’s all right, bub,” the blind man said. “Hey listen.
Characterized as a social place where people meet, the cathedral becomes a symbol of the husband's ability to overcome his loneliness and his inability to communicate. The last few sentences of the story paint a picture of someone coming to the realization that being blind can be more than just a physical limitation. A person can be blinded to the feelings of others and the problems that can affect our everyday life, yet through interaction and tolerance an individual can find both themselves and an awareness for people around
In the world of literature, stories are often released for the purpose of social commentary or even to reflect on the authors past in a that its similar to an autobiography. Raymond Carver is a unique author often creating short stories that are of his own personal life through fictional characters that embody the turmoil he has gone through and social commentary on social issues. This is seen especially in his 1981 short story, Cathedral with a revised version being released in 1983, but we are gonna focus on the 1981 original. 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.