In Raymond Carver’s Cathedral there is a lot of symbolism relating to the narrator’s close mindedness. In this world there are people that are physically impaired, but this does not limit them in connecting with people emotionally. Some people who are not impaired have a tougher time realizing that they are the ones spiritually blind and unable to connect with people. The narrator is a man who is a person who is spiritually blind and does not connect well with people, not even his own wife. This could be related to the machismo way of thinking about men. How is it that a man can live his life for so long and not realize he had been blind the whole time?
The story is about a married couple getting a visit from the wife’s friend. This friend is a physically blind man who ends up opening the eyes of the narrator. The blind man is named Robert, a person the narrator’s wife would work for as a reader. The narrator does not like the visit of this man even though it really means a lot to his wife. He says that the man’s blindness unsettles him and makes him feel uncomfortable. The wife and Robert have kept in touch over the ten years of separation by sending each other audiotapes. The wife would tell Robert everything and could relate to him more than her husband. The narrator does not connect emotionally to his wife or the visitor, so during the visit the wife is the only one who maintains a conversation. This conversation lasts only until she falls asleep. The narrator clumsily tries to describe to the blind man what is on television with good intentions. However he freezes when he realizes he can’t describe a cathedral. The blind man then tells him to draw a cathedral with his eyes closed and he would follow his hand to feel how the cathedral is. Through this experience, the narrator knows that he is home but feels as if he is nowhere. The narrator has an epiphany realizing how closed...
Bibliography: Hromulak, Virginia, and Raymond Carver. "Cathedral." The Mercury reader. Boston, Mass.: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2005. 88-101. Print.
Bullock, C. J. (May 01, 1994). From Castle to Cathedral: The Architecture of Masculinity in Raymond Carver 's 'Cathedral '. Journal of Men 's Studies: a Scholarly Journal About Men and Masculinities, 2, 4, 343-51.
Peterson, P. R. (July 01, 2012). Psychological distance in raymond Carver 's cathedral. Explicator, 70, 3, 167-169.
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