A Good Man Is Hard To Find By Flannery O Connor's Cathedral

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Both “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor’s main characters come to a point of self-reflection. Both stories leave the imagination, about whether the characters have changed their perspectives on their surroundings or not, up to the reader. Although their realization at the end are the same, both stories differ in events that led up to the ending. In O’Connor’s short story, the main character is a religious and judgmental Catholic woman that led her family to their deaths. But in Carver’s short story, the main character is a stubborn, non-religious judgmental man that sees with his eyes and not his heart, meaning that he sees and accepts things as they are. Carver demonstrates vision more effectively…show more content…
“Looking” refers to a person just judging based on physical character traits and appearances while “seeing” refers to someone that judges based off of emotion and that person’s personality. In the story, “Cathedral” it states, “This blind man, an old friend of my wife’s, he was on his way to spend the night.” (1) The term “blind man” is a symbol for “looking” because the narrator constantly uses it to describe Robert, his wife’s friend that is blind. The way how the term “blind man” is used in this sentence suggests that the narrator is being critical towards a man he has never met because he is blind. He is going off of what he knows about the man and just calling Robert how sees him to be. The narrator does not even have to refer to him as a blind man every time he is talking about Robert. A “looking” symbol in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in the text is, “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” (2) The grandmother is equating her physical appearance to respect. How she dresses to go on the road trip is a symbol of “looking” because she thinks that she is a lady and being a lady to her is someone that keeps up with their appearance no matter the time and place. As for “seeing’s” symbolism in “Cathedral”, it states, “She even tried to write a poem about it. She made a tape.” (1-2) Poem and tape would be a symbol for “seeing” because they both deal with a person relaying their emotions for something through an object to another person. The wife wrote several poems describing her encounter with Robert and how he made her felt. She then started making tapes later on to describe what was going on in her life to Robert so he could be able to hear and convert her feelings into something he could understand and feel as well. The
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