In the story "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver, the main character, goes through a major personal transformation. At the beginning of the story, his opinions of others are filled with stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice. Through interaction with his wife's blind friend Robert, his attitude and outlook on life changes. Although at first he seemed afraid to associate with a blind man, Robert's outgoing personality left him with virtually no choice. During Robert's visit, he proved to be a normal man, and showed the speaker that by closing his eyes, he could open his mind.
The speaker's prejudice was nearly overwhelming at the opening of the story. "His being blind bothered me," he said. "A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to." He had never really come in personal contact with anyone before who was blind, and seemed to have no idea of what to expect. He admittedly gathered a stereotypical mind set about blind people from movies, assuming they "moved slowly and never laughed."
The character's prejudice was also evident when he asked about Robert's deceased wife. Upon hearing her name Beulah, he asked, "Was his wife a Negro?" Immediately, his wife seemed offended at the question. The paragraphs that follow are important to the story. The speaker informs the readers that his wife told him the story of Robert and Beulah. H...
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...interracial relationships. However because of the way he acts when he hears about the two of them, it is obvious that he has led a sheltered life. But even after his entire life of not understanding what was going on in the world around him, one night with Robert enlightened him and changed his view on people and his surrounding environment.
Works Cited and Consulted
Bethea, Arthur F. "Carver's Cathedral" The Explicator. Spring 1998: 132-134.
Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 1052-1062.
Nesset, Kirk. "Insularity and Self-Enlargement in Raymond Carver's 'Cathedral.'" Essays in Literature. March 22, 1994: 116.
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