An Analysis of Cathedral
Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" appears to be a simple visit between a man's wife and her long time friend Robert, but Carver is essentially creating a newly established friendship between Robert and Bub to show stereotypes and barriers can be broken. Carver's portrayal of Bub as a simple, ignorant, and stereotypical man, who easily labels things as impotent or useless, is used to show how all people can build and create stereotypes around people we don't know. Instead of labeling, judging, and creating barriers without fully understanding who we are judging, Carver is suggesting we engage these people without a biased to find out who they really vs. what they seem to be. In "Cathedral" the narrator Bub immediately stereotypes Robert once he finds out he is blind. People develop stereotypes when they are unable or sometimes unwilling to obtain all of the information they would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. His idea of being blind is quite superficial without any base to support his rationale. He has yet to meet a blind person and his ignorance is displayed quite clearly when in the first paragraph he says. "In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were lead by seeing-eye dogs. (Carver 1,)" Ironically, it is not Robert who is blind, but Bub himself. Bub uses stereotyping as a defense mechanism against Robert. He imitates the stereotyping from his wife finding a greater source of comfort in Robert than she does in him. This awkward behavior is only self-imposed by Bub, who does little or nothing to rekindle the relationship. His indifferent behavior causes him to be separate from others and this his social skills lack. He is callous, stereotyping and quite unimaginative. Hs lack of emotions exposes his un-matured understanding of relationships. This is demonstrated when he neglects inquiring about his wife's poetry. "Maybe I just don't understand...
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