Blind Faith in Raymond Carver's Cathedral Essay
920 Words4 Pages
Blind Faith in Raymond Carver's Cathedral
In the story "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver, the main character, goes through a major personal transformation. At the beginning of the story, his opinions of others are filled with stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice. Through interaction with his wife's blind friend Robert, his attitude and outlook on life changes. Although at first he seemed afraid to associate with a blind man, Robert's outgoing personality left him with virtually no choice. During Robert's visit, he proved to be a normal man, and showed the speaker that by closing his eyes, he could open his mind.
The speaker's prejudice was nearly overwhelming at the opening of the story. "His being blind bothered…show more content…
The color of Beulah's skin was not important to Robert, and therefore was not mentioned by the character.
Until he met Robert, the speaker merely referred to Robert as "the blind man," instead of someone with a name or someone with importance. He did not seem to understand why his wife had kept in touch with Robert, or how they became so close. He also seemed to feel that Robert was a nuisance to society, someone who could not take care of himself. The character spoke of the pity he felt for Beulah because Robert could never see what she looked like, read the expression on her face or receive the smallest compliment from her husband.
When Robert arrived in his house, the speaker began his transformation. It began immediately upon seeing Robert with his wife, his eyes drawn to the smile Robert had placed on her face. The speaker witnessed the depth of conversation Robert had with his wife, as if he wasn't even in the room, and it seemed to spark some jealousy. Most of the changes that the speaker underwent in his understanding of Robert were because he realized that Robert was "normal."
The speaker was surprised to see "a beard on a blind man." He had "always thought dark glasses were a must for the blind," yet Robert wore none. He had "read the blind didn't smoke," but Robert filled ashtray after ashtray in his home. The speaker watched as Robert ate, knowing where everything was on his plate, and being
Essay on Cathedral by Raymond Carver
1290 Words6 Pages
The story of Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, shows that you do not have to see someone or something in order to appreciate them for who or what they are. It is about a husband, the narrator, and his wife who live in a house. The wife, whose name they do not mention, has a very close friend who is blind. His name is Robert. Robert's wife dies, and comes to their house to spend a couple of days with the narrator and his wife. The narrator, whose name they do not mention as well, is always on edge because he does not really know Robert very well and he does not like blind people, but he is being friendly for his wife's sake. The story comes to an end when Robert and the narrator draw a cathedral together using the narrator's hand and helped by…show more content…
He only sees people for what they are on the outside, but is blind to appreciating the true beauty of a person's inner self. You begin to understand this better when the narrator goes to say prayers, and this baffles the wife. The narrator says, "Now let us pray, I said, and the blind man lowered his head. My wife looked at me, her mouth agape. Pray the phone won't ring and the food doesn't get cold, I said." Now normally prayers are said to show appreciation to all that God has blessed you with. The narrator prays in a cold type of way, because he cannot believe in a God if he does not appreciate the beauty of ones inner self.
The second thing that makes the theme or message come out is the characterization in the story. In Cathedral, there are three main characters. The most important character in the story is Robert, the blind friend of the wife's. Unlike the narrator, Robert cannot physically see, but has a clear vision of appreciating the person's true inner self. For example, when the narrator cannot comprehend how Robert's wife even loved Robert. He says, "It was beyond my understanding. Hearing this, I felt sorry for the blind man for a little bit. And then I found myself thinking 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. A woman who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment