22 September 2010
A Change of Heart in Cathedral
In Raymond Carver’s Cathedral, the main character and narrator is the husband. We do not know his name but he is a vital character nonetheless. In the beginning of the story the husband has a hardened heart towards blind people, particularly Robert, a blind man who is a close friend of the husband’s wife. Over the course of the story the husband has a gradual change of heart towards Robert and blind people in general. In the beginning the Husband makes many snide remarks and sarcastic comments about Robert and blind people. As the story proceeds we see many tell-tale signs of his attitude being softened towards Robert and in some aspects all blind people. Some of these signs include: at the beginning when the husband butters Robert’s bread for him, also in the beginning when he considers that Robert might be tired and asks him if he wants to go to bed and at the end when the husband describes the Cathedral to Robert and they draw together with their eyes closed. All of these subtle niceties show that the husband’s attitude is gradually changing toward Robert; this change of heart leads him to a point where he is able to share an experience with Robert that gives him a small glimpse into the world through a blind person’s eyes. The husband’s experience with Robert allows him to create in his mind a whole new outlook about not only Robert, but all blind people. Many people have lots of stereotypical thoughts about blind people that we’ve created in our minds due to things we have seen on movies, television and in stories. Most of the time when you think of a blind person you think of person who moves slowly, testing each step they take; also you think of someone with dark glasses and usually either a cane or a seeing-eye dog. In the story the Husband has many of these same stereotypical thoughts of Robert before he actually arrives for his visit with the Husband’s...