The Theme Of Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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“Cathedral,” a short story written by Raymond Carver, presents an intriguing story of an ignorant man 's lesson. During this story, Carver 's working class characters are crushed by broken marriages, financial issues, and fulfilling jobs, but they are frequently unable to understand or communicate their own sufferings. However, the main story consists of the narrator, known as “Bub,” facing an internal conflict about a blind man named Robert staying the night in his home. Regardless of the fact that this blind man is his wife 's long time friend, the narrator cannot find himself comfortable with such an idea because of his extreme prejudices. Although, despite the narrator’s conflict he finds himself connecting to Robert on a more personal…show more content…
The usage of first person point of view traps the reader within the mind of a character who is closed off and narrow-minded for the duration of the story in such a way that it “tell 's nothing, but shows everything (Messer)” at the same time. In this way, the reader goes through the series of realizations with the narrator which convey the message of blindness in correlation with true sight and a spiritual awakening. For instance, the narrator can only feel pity for Robert’s wife, Beulah, because he was never able to see her. He imagined that Robert 's wife “could, if she wanted, wear green eye-shadow around one eye, a straight pin in her nostril, yellow slacks, and purple shoes” (Mays). However, none of this really matted to Robert, and the narrator finds it utterly pathetic. Yet, the narrator never really understands the fact that he does not really know his own wife, regardless of the fact that he can physically see her. Additionally, within the first paragraph, Carver uses demonstratives and possessives to draw the reader close to the Narrator of the story while also constructing a psychological distance between the narrator and other characters in the story (Peterson). In this paragraph, Carver uses the demonstrative “this” as a word to indicate distance, metaphorically, between the narrator and Robert (Peterson). In particular the sentence, “This blind man, an old friend of my wife 's, he was on his way to spend the night (Mays 33)” demonstrates the use of this as a specific person while showing the distance and dislike the narrator has of Robert. As a result, the narrators prejudice is presented to the reader in a way that shows his blindness as

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