Cathedral Character Analysis

Topics: Blindness, Braille, Cataract Pages: 4 (1416 words) Published: October 7, 2013

In the story "Cathedral", by Raymond Carver, the narrator is conflicted with issues of inner-demons that are manifested in a blind man whom he perceives as a danger to his marriage. The narrator in this story is a good example of an anti-hero showing negative characteristics while never actually being a bad guy. This gives the idea that he is very humanistic character. That being said, he is a flawed character who is just trying to please his wife while not giving up what he wants. In the end he realizes that he can have both revealing a very enlighten experience. Over the entire story the narrator is confronted with different moments that gradually alters his perspective and changes him for the better.

When we first meet the narrator he is fearful of his new visitor and what it will do to his family and shows that he does not have very good feelings towards this blind man. The narrator immediately lets us know where he stands by saying "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit... And his being blind bothered me." (Carver 106). This statement shows a great deal of ignorance in the character and a good sense of short-sighted views. However, he goes to stress that "[His] idea of blindness came from the movies.". He uses the pop cultural reference to blind people to excuse his ignorance, but all he shows to the audience is that he knows only of fictional blind people and has to base his opinion on his visitor from that (Carver 106). With him being a honest character, he does reveal what is truly bothering him is his jealousy of Robert, but initially this information is clouded by the narrator's obsession with Robert's blindness. From that we can actually come out and say that the narrator is blind in the beginning of the story, and he's the one that can't see who Robert is. He even tells us that he has no real understanding of his wife when he mentions her poetry "I didn't think much of the poem. Of course, I didn't tell her that." even though he...

Cited: Carver, Raymond. " Cathedral." Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, poetry, and drama. 12th ed. New York: Longman, 2012. 106+. Print.
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