Y Idea Of Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the seemingly judgmental narrator is faced with meeting a blind man named Robert. The narrator sees himself as superior to others and, in this instance, especially to the blind. Due to the narrator’s pretentious attitude, tension between the blind and himself is revealed when he says, “[m]y idea of blindness came from the movies” (279). In Carver’s short story “Cathedral”, the tension between literal and metaphorical blindness is most evident through the narrator’s insensitivity and bitterness towards the blind man. The character of the narrator progresses from a closed minded individual to someone who can look outside of his own perspective.
The feelings and assumptions the narrator has towards the blind are insensitivity and bitterness. Without even meeting the blind man, the narrator displays a negative view towards him. When the narrator hears that Robert was once married, he starts to feel bad for the woman, “what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one… She could if she wanted, wear green eye-shadow around one eye, a straight pin in her nostril, yellow slacks, and purple shoes, no matter” (282). The narrator assumes that a blind man can not love. To him love is physical and all that truly matters is outward beauty, not who the person is on the inside.
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Before the narrator met the blind man he was judgmental and critical towards him. As the story continues, the tension, which is only found in the narrator’s head, starts to resolve as he sees more. It takes the narrator drawing a cathedral and putting himself in a blind man’s shoes to be able to have “sight”. The narrator becomes open-minded and looks at Robert in a new positive
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