Composition 2/ WRIT 102
2 February 2011
Analysis of “Cathedral”
The short story “Cathedral”, written by Raymond Carver is a rather simple story with a complex and revealing true meaning. A man, the narrator, is upset or uneasy about the arrival of his wife’s’ long time friend Robert. The main reason for him feeling upset is because the wife’s friend is blind. The narrator has obviously never experienced a blind person and is full of stereotypical thoughts and beliefs. We learn of his prejudice toward blind people, become aware how his own life lacks any sort of meaning or self security, and we see how the narrator evolves as a direct result of the interactions with the blind man. This short story is told from the selective narrator position, where as we only can see into the mind of the narrator. The narrator is a dynamic character in this story and there are a few events that help transition the character over the course of the story.
Even though the narrator of “Cathedral” is not literally blind, throughout the story he displays an enormous lack of insight and self-awareness, which in many ways makes him blinder than the wife’s friend Robert. The fear and dislike for blind people is the main focus of the introduction. The fear and dislike come from the narrators ignorance toward blind people in general. He goes on to even say “And it bothered me that he was blind”. (Carver, Pg. 92) In the introduction, the narrator goes on to describe his stereotypical thoughts of blind people by saying, “they move slowly, use canes, wear dark glasses, never laugh, and use seeing eye dogs”. (Carver, Pg. 92) As soon as Robert arrives at the couples house those stereotypes are quickly found to be false. Throughout the story the narrator goes on to notice how to blind man acts, situates himself, eats, talks and has had a fulfilling career and memorable relationships.
From the beginning of the story the narrator only looked at the...