The narrator of Raymond Carver's short story Cathedral starts by saying, "This blind man, an old friend of my wife's, he was on his way to spend the night. "The narrator continues to say that after the blind man's wife died while visiting her relatives in nearby Connecticut, he had called the narrator's wife to arrange a visit of old friends. The narrator admits he is not excited about this man coming to visit his wife. "He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to." Soon enough, the narrator would come to look at being blind in a much different way and even come to realize that he himself is being blind.
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 renowned author, Raymond Carver, utilizes dramatic and situational irony throughout his short stories, Cathedral, Neighbors, and They’re not your husband. Carver is well known for using different types of irony to allure the reader. In Cathedral, and They 're not your husband situational irony is amply evident. Situational irony is when the opposite of what is expected to happen, occurs. However, in Neighbors, dramatic irony is prevalent. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something that the characters do not. Dramatic and situational irony appear throughout a few of Carver’s numerous remarkable short stories.
“Cathedral” published in 1983 by Raymond Carver talks about a husband’s change of attitude. I went into detail on the husband’s character changing throughout the story by describing his behavior and actions and focusing on the husband’s comments towards Robert. I also talked about how Robert and the wife do not go into detail talking about the husband because Raymond Carver wants you to fill in the blanks on what you think the husband’s personality is. The husband’s character is easier to understand after he has a couple drinks and is faced with Robert one on one while watching a documentary series on Cathedrals.
Contrasting the narrator, Robert feels love, rather than physically “seeing” it, an emotion the narrator is incapable of. The narrator wonders “who’d want to go to such a wedding in the first place” (Carver 2) considering the wedding consisted of “just the two of them, plus the minister and the minister’s wife” (Carver 2). Instead of viewing marriage as a celebration of the love between two people, he sees marriage as a tangible ceremony focused on physicality. Because of Robert inability to see, the narrator discounts Robert and his wife’s love for each other. Their marriage was “beyond [his] understanding… they’d married, lived and worked together… and then the blind man had to bury her… without his having ever seen what [she] looked like” (Carver 2). Robert loves his wife and views her as his soulmate rather than a body to fill empty space. Robert’s physical blindness does not hold him back from feeling, while the narrator’s emotional lack of sight proves more
Since the beginning of the story, the narrator does not like the idea of having in his house a blind man. He does not know how to socialize with blind people because his idea of blindness came from the movies. He thinks blind people move slowly and they never laugh.
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
From the beginning of the novel the narrator shows ignorance and prejudice towards Robert, he is fighting with his own of jealousy and insecurity. Being unhappy with his own life, the narrator sees Robert as a possible threat to his usual evening with pot and TV, without realizing that in order to be satisfied he should step out of his habitual
“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
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.
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.
Conflict is the essence of any literary fiction. The main goal of an author is to tell a story that keeps the reader interested. At the story’s core, conflict is the momentum of happening and change and is crucial on all levels for delivering information and building characterization as well as building the story itself. Conflict is the source of change that engages a reader and keeps them interested. In a story, conflict and action does what description and telling of feelings and situations do not. Narrated in the first person, Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” is bound to unfold due to the thoughts and feelings of one of the main characters, the husband. Expectedly, the conflict revolves around him and the way he responds to the conflict leads
Can a person learn something from communicating with someone else? For some people connecting with a new person is difficult and one might question the idea of connecting with a new person. For example, in Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” The narrator is unhappy about the blind man Robert coming to stay at his house. Then, the narrator starts to enjoy Robert’s company. While they are watching television, Robert tells the narrator to fetch a piece of heavy paper. Lastly, the narrator and Robert draw a picture of a cathedral together so Robert can get a better idea of a cathedral. In the story “Cathedral,” the narrator’s thoughts, actions, and feelings reveal the theme that even when unexpected, one can learn something from meeting new people.
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.