An old friend of the narrator "Robert,'' is the blind man in the story. When the sighted man tries to explain what a cathedral is like to the blind man, his words fail. One man relies on vision to communicate, the other does not. It was like they spoke different languages. At the end of the story when the narrator says "My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. But I didn't feel like I was inside anything"? he means that he could somewhat see what the blind man felt like. Although he was at home he did not feel as if he were because he couldn't see anything with closed eyes. But the narrator noticed the beauty and he felt relieved. At the end of the story the narrator had his hands closed drawing a cathedral. Everything Robert could do
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. From that moment, the narrator show his true side to me. It shows that he doesn’t not care about his wife feeling toward the blind man. After carefully reading “cathedral”, the narrator is jealous of the blind man relationship with his
Within modern day society, there are many people who have eyesight cannot “see.” This sad truth is reflected within the husband who cannot connect with his wife because he displays a lack of insight. As the protagonist of the short story Cathedral, the husband had to undergo a certain change within the story in order to connect with his wife, who actually tends to be the antagonist. Through the usage of the husband’s language, behavior, and interaction with other characters–the author, Raymond Carver proves that it is possible to “see” once one accepts change.
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” we are introduced to a narrator who tries to make it very clear to the reader that because he can physically see, he is better than the blind man, Robert. However, as we continue through the narrator’s interactions with Robert, it is shown that the narrator is actually quite blind to the world until Robert shows him otherwise. That is to say, the narrator can physically look at things around him, but lacks the kind of seeing that entails looking at things on a deeper level of engagement. This is the kind of seeing that allows Robert to truly see and understand things at a deeper level that the narrator would be oblivious to, such as his wife’s feelings, or even his own emotions. We get a clear vision about
“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.
Unfortunately, his efforts to describe a cathedral were unsuccessful. He feels as blind as Robert. The blind man suggested the narrator to draw one cathedral together. The wife didn’t comprehend what’s happening. Robert just replied to her saying they are drawing a cathedral. The blind man ran his fingers over the paper, and places his hand over the narrator which is the beginning to the narrator’s meaningful life lesson.
“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.
A Cathedral is a place for people to go and worship, to connect with God. By drawing the Cathedral the narrator is in some ways also making a connection. For the first time, he appears to be able to see. The narrator's ignorance and preconceptions fade away because he sees that although Robert has the gift of knowing and understanding people. There is also a sense of irony at the end of the story. The narrator’s eyes are closed and he is being led by a blind man, yet he is able to see. Carver never explains what it is the narrator sees, but there is the sense that he has found a connection and is no longer detached or isolated. The narrator is faced with a stark realization and glimmer of hope.Hope for new views, new life and probably even new identity. Even the narrator’s wife is surprised by the fact that her husband and Robert really get along together.And this is an undoubtful argument that the narrator changed throat the story, Robert unconsciously succeeds in bringing new psychological and spiritual opening to
“You can't judge an album by a single song; it's like judging a book by only reading a single chapter” Trevor Rabin. Although the short stories Cathedral and A Rose for Emily have completely different plots, they both have morals that are described in this quote. Cathedral follows around a blind man named Robert visiting an old friend and her husband, who does not care for the Robert. A Rose for Emily is about Emily, a woman who is perceived as a local oddity but soon the townspeople realize she is not just odd, but also a little bit crazy. Both Emily from the short story, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, and Robert from Cathedral by Raymond Carver, portray characters that become of the targets of premature assumptions, but when the
Raymond Carver is said to be one the most influential American writers and poets in the 20th century, especially in his works of short stories. One of his most famous pieces is “Cathedral.” This well-known short story is the final piece in Carver’s collection Cathedral published in 1983. Carver includes much symbolism through the story’s plot, structure, point of view, tone, and character build. The depictions of each character’s experiences, the irony in the story, and hearing the narrator’s point of view in “Cathedral” work in harmony to support its themes that prejudice and ignorance as well as the nature of reality are present and change throughout the course of the story, and all lead to a strong character development by the close.
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. The wife and the blind man share an intimate and vulnerable moments together; one includes when she lets him touch her face so he can remember her. Similarly, the narrator gets to share an intimate moment with Robert that leads to an epiphany. The epiphany that the narrator experiences when drawing a cathedral refers to seeing life from Robert, the blind man’s, point of view and seeing the struggles as well as life experiences a blind man must encounter on a daily basis. However, the focal point within the story occurs when the narrator gets to have a vulnerable moment with the blind man that he has never encountered before, and it makes him feel liberated.
However, the story unwinds when Bub and Robert seem to have created some sort of bond. After hours of talking through the night the narrator happens to find out Robert isn’t as bad as he thought. He realizes Robert is just another man and poses no threat to him or his relationship with his wife. The two men stay up for hours talking about all sorts of things. Towards the end of the night the two men share a moment that ends the story well. Robert asks about the narrator’s religion which brings them to the topic of Cathedrals. Since Robert is blind he doesn’t know exactly what a Cathedral is and only can picture a normal building and what he thinks it might be like. As they continue to talk, Robert asks for some paper and a pen. Robert takes Bub’s hand and tells him to draw a Cathedral. Robert continues to cheer Bub on and continue drawing. Robert then asks him to close his eyes and continue to draw this way. After the drawing is complete Bub keeps his eyes closed and this leads us to believe his is finally at peace with Robert being there. Bub states, “But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer.” (Carver 87). With this statement, Bub insists keeping his eyes closed and he seems to feel
In the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the narrator makes it clear that salvation lies in human contact and connection. In the beginning of the story the narrator shows the lack of love in his relationship with his wife. When the narrators wife tells him about inviting a blind man over, he feels weird about it. The wife says “If you love me,you can do this for me, If you don't love me, okay”.(202) The narrator felt threatened by the man her wife was inviting over. The narrator had a hard time getting along with people and even so a blind person. When the blind man comes to their house, the narrator starts building a connection with him when the wife falls asleep. The connection started with cathedrals. The blind man had no idea
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.