The short story of the “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver shows the narrator as the main character of the story whose name is never mentioned. The narrator’s wife’s name is never mentioned as well, and her friend who is a blind man is coming to visit after losing his wife whose name is Robert. In the beginning of the story, the narrator shows that he is an excessive drinker and feels emotionally disconnected from his wife and his wife is excited about her friends visit, Robert. This kind of emotion makes him uneasy but doesn’t know why and because he knows that Robert is blind, he feels like he is better than him. Imagine having to meet a long time old friend of your spouse of the opposite sex who they a special friendship with and whom you haven’t
... of “Cathedral,” it becomes apparent that the narrator’s affection for the blind man has positively shifted as they sit down and begin to draw the cathedral together. After a failed attempt to explain what a cathedral is to the blind man, the narrator is surprised at the encouragement Robert gives. Robert asks the narrator to close his eyes, to ultimately trust him, and the narrator listens. “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything,” the narrator stated (Carver). This text suggests that the narrator was not necessarily concerned about what he was drawing, but on the feeling he was experiencing during that moment. The narrator is no longer isolated, but open to a new freedom (Esch). This freedom is beyond what is visible – and Robert, the blind man, reiterates this by his presence and lack of sight.
At a glance Carver’s writing style of the “Cathedral” seems simple but after further interpretation of the story one realizes that the “Cathedral” is about the interactions and epiphanies that regular people have that changes their entire life. This idea is perfectly represented at the end of the “Cathedral”, throughout the story the husband knew nothing about blind people and wondered how can they live their life without being able to see. He continually made references to the effect of how can he be married and not be able to see his wife, if she had makeup purple slacks and so on he would never know. At the end of the story the husband became closer to the blind man through the drawing exercise and when he asked him to close his eyes so the husband was able to “see” things as the blind man saw them he realized that being blind wasn’t that bad it was just a different type of life style. Because Carver writes about simple commonplace situations this makes the story more affective to the average person. Topics such as loss and drug and alcohol use are things that almost everyone can relate to because it affects almost everyone’s life in one facet or another. Because this is the concentration of Carvers story it allows more people enjoy and relate to the stories; this also leaves the story for more personal interpretation. Each person has their own thoughts about drugs, alcohol and loss and because of these feeling the interpretation of the story is left up to the reader.
Symbolism has become such an important element in literary history. Authors use it to express ideas they may not have been able to find the right words for. It is important not to condone symbols in literature books because they most likely hold the truest meanings and moral lessons inside the works. Again, imagine a world full of innocence. Begin to realize that innocence is the key factor in keeping the inner youth alive and protected from the phony adult life. Without symbolism, authors would not be able to convey messages as valuable as this one, and readers would not be capable of taking these lessons and learning from them. Innocence is bliss and literary symbols have only made strong impacts on society that will continue to sustain for generations to come.
There are several elements of symbolism in the story; however, “The deeper levels of this story are disclosed by examining not only what is implied through the irony but also what is indicated by symbolism and repetition” (Holla...
He is seen to be closed minded and judgmental, but as he is able to explain the cathedral to Robert, he felt free. When he drew the cathedral with his eyes closed, he begins to find himself being pulled in, adding final details. When Robert asks him to open his eyes, the narrator says, “But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do”(Carver). He did not want to open his eyes, he reached an epiphany. The cathedral is a place for the religious to worship and to find solace and the narrator’s drawing of the cathedral opened the door for him to see beyond what is immediately visible.After realizing he has been living in a hole his whole life, he says, “I did not feel like I was inside of anything”(Carver). His light finally opened, he was brought out of a place he has been stuck in for a while. He is starting to exist in a world he was not living in. We can tell that he is an introvert and does not have many friends other than his wife but now he actually has deeper empathy with Robert and even his
Through the short story, “Cathedral,” by Raymond Carver, occasions of the husband’s character change the connection once lost through blindness. Through a blind man’s innovative technique, the husband’s demeanor radically improves through one man’s handicap. Although the character’s change in behavior occurs shortly before the end of the story the husband and Robert sit on the floor to draw a cathedral, there are a few climaxes in the story that greatly begin to shape the husband’s overall perspective in life. Carver describes the setting of the story, which takes place in a middle-class apartment in New York, which gives a powerful shift in the husband’s
In addition to the story, there are characters. In Cathedral, there are three main characters, the Wife, Robert and the Narrator. The description of the Wife isn't well described, and because of this we don’t know much about her. All we know about the Wife is that she is sensitive, a poet, and she sometimes suffers from depression. She has been known to have horrible relationships, and her relationship with her husband isn't the best, and maybe that's why she is sending tapes to Roberts. Robert is the compassionate blind man who is easygoing. He is in a vulnerable state because his wife just died. We learn that Robert doesn't see his blindness as an advantage when it comes to visualizing the world. The last character is the Narrator, and the
The narrator doesn’t seem to understand what is so interesting about Robert. The wife stands up for Robert, keeping cautious at all time and caring for him. Even though the narrator seems to be uncomfortable and uneasy with Robert’s blindness, “And his being blind bothered me” (Carver, 1983, Pg. 2679). The narrator invites Robert to his home to prove to his wife that he loves her. The significance of the blind man’s lack of vision is complex; even though the blind man has a disability, Robert comprehends and sees much more than what others may ignore. Liquor and marijuana are used in the story as tension relievers. Liquor and marijuana allowed both the narrator and the blind man to become more at ease, relieving the narrator from awkwardness and relief. When Robert was offered to try cannabis for the first time, without any hesitation he tried some. Coming into a conclusion that Robert was wounded and upset from his wife’s death, and that the only solution into coping with the wife’s death would be through trying new things. The author attempts to explain at the ending when both men draw the cathedral that an inner vision can be much clearer than am actual visual. Both characters in the story come to an understanding of what the meaning can be to a cathedral (Carver,
The short story, “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is a first person narrative about an ignorant man’s realization regarding the life of a blind man. The narration of the story is from the point of view of an average, working class husband who is expecting a visit from an unfamiliar blind man whom his wife has invited to stay. The narrator is flawed and seems to have no realization of his improper comments and notions. He drinks scotch heavily and smokes marijuana. His boorish manners include pitying the blind man’s deceased wife, dismissive attitude toward him and oblivious comments. After hearing about Robert’s (the blind man’s) deceased wife he concludes such; “And then I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine