You can never seem to know what's going on in another ones life, unless you put your feet in there shoes, so to judge, is simply ignorance. Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" is a story about how the narrator is uncomfortable with having his wife's blind friend, Robert, over. Roger has lost his wife, and to cope with her death, he planned to visit the narrator's wife. Without any knowledge whatsoever on how to act in accompany towards a blind man, the narrator seems to get a glimpse of what it is to truly fit into the blind mans shoe.
The narrator starts his story very unenthusiastic about Roger's visit. He based his ideas mainly from movies he remembered watching, "In the movies, the blind [moves] slowly and never [laughs]. Sometimes they [are] led by seeing-eye dogs." (209). With these ideas, it made it clear on how unaware he was towards blind people. It seemed as though he believed that blind people didn't have much to do with their lives.
He felt sorry for Robert, and basically pitied Robert's wife. The Narrator comments, "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 from her beloved. A woman whose husband could never read the expression on her face, be it misery or something better." (213). These were such shallow words to say to someone you have never even met yet, face to face. How can he forget that these were two people who fell in love with each other for who they are, for better or for worse. Beauty is only skin deep.
The narrator then anxiously awaits the arrival of Robert as he sips back his drink and watches televisi...
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...e narrator finishes up the drawing and Robert suggests that the narrator closes his eyes and continue to draw. The narrator agrees as if to try to see if he could be able to still draw the cathedral with his eyes shut. "I think you got it, take a look. What do you think?" Robert asked (228). But the narrator decided not to open his eyes, for I believe he has just seen how remarkable it is to be blind.
In conclusion I believe the narrator went through a life learning experience. He was afraid of the unfamiliar. He judged another being that he had never even met. He then got to be familiar with the unfamiliar. He then made a friend. I believe this story took the reader through the narrator's eyes, the eyes of the blind.
Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral." The Harper Anthology of Fiction Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991.
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