Understanding the Darkness
“Cathedral” teaches a closed minded man that you don’t have to see things to understand them. The narrator is the man in the story that has this life changing experience that opened him up to a whole new world of understanding. This helps the reader to go inside the main characters mind and see his point of view. The overwhelming theme of this story is the conversion of the narrator from a man who sees the world in a basic way to a man who understands the deeper meaning of it. The blind man teaches the narrator a lesson that it’s not how you interpret things through sight, but how you imagine it.
The narrator is very skeptical of Robert the blind man because he doesn’t understand how someone would want to continue to live even though you can’t see. He states “And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from the movies.” The narrator is making prejudgments of the blind man based off what he has seen in movies. This leads me to believe that he is a closed minded man and doesn’t want to try to understand Roberts’s life because he thinks he already has a good grasp on it based on the movie. “For a man who can see, the narrator in “Cathedral” says little about what he sees.”(“Raymond Carver Essay on Cathedral." By Drew Woodson. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.). Woodson is talking about how the narrator conducts his life, by not describing what he sees means he takes it for granted and doesn’t understand. He also asks if Roberts’s wife was a “Negro” because her name was Beulah. This adds to the assumptions that the narrator is intolerable to people that are not like him. “Negro” is a hateful word that is only used to describe a black person in a condescending way. He also makes a generalization by assuming that Roberts wife is black because of her name. The narrator goes on to state “the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing eye dogs.” These are the assumptions he has in his head...
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