Life: Simplicity and Profundity

Satisfactory Essays
There is so much more to life than what you see alone. Many people live their time on Earth without ever grasping the ability to envision a deeper level of meaning. To live solely on physical vision alone is to live no life at all because human beings are much more complex than people like to believe. We possess the capability of knowing the difference between visualization and interpretation. Within this story, we discover a notion that is spoken of too often but rarely ever practiced. We follow the turning points of a man’s life when he steps into the shoes of someone less fortunate than him and learns the true meaning of being able to see. In “Cathedral”, Raymond Carver uses characterization, irony and symbolism to show the realization of a world beyond what the human eye can perceive.
Carver uses characterization to display the contrasting state of mind between the main characters, the narrator and Robert. “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” (Carver 88). With the narrators dialogue and thoughts, we begin to see his envious, overcritical and ignorant persona arise. It seems that the narrator is oblivious to the close minded concepts he has about both relationships and life. “They’d married, lived and worked together, slept together - had sex, sure - and then the blind man had to bury her. All this without his having ever seen what the goddamned woman looked like”(Carver 90). The narrator’s description of Robert’s marriage exhibits his superficial idea of what a true relationship is. Although the narrator believes he has an intuitive understanding of life and...

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...Carver uses characterization, irony and symbolism to build a connection between seeing and understanding. Life was not meant to be in black in white, nor was it meant for people to live it with no percipience. We hold the potential to embody this bond between what we see and what the real connotation of it is. But it is up to us to decide whether we use this knowledge and open our mind to new possibilities. We watched as the narrator blindly sailed through life not looking at underlying issues or discovering what something really looks like. To truly live a full life, you have to be able to see past the two-dimensional life most people lead. Carver shows how the negative traits of mankind can be expressed without even knowing it, but it is never too late to break free from our own “cathedral” and lead a life worth living.

Works Cited

Raymond Carver, " Cathedral"