Cathedral Character Essay

Topics: Guide dog, Blindness, Short story Pages: 3 (828 words) Published: May 9, 2012
Essay #1, Character Analysis
English 102
Blind Leading The Blind
In the short story, “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, it all began when the narrators wife invites her blind friend over to visit her and her husband. The husband has normal vision, but in the beginning of the story, he is the one who is “blind.” For example, he is close minded and stereotypical about this blind man arriving to their home. The husband's words and actions when dealing with Robert is that the husband is uncomfortable, awkward, and mean. As the story progresses, we can see as change in the husband, and he seems to be able to see Robert as a person and not just as a stereotypical blind man.

The narrator does not seem to care about Robert's feelings. Before Robert arrives, the husband refers to him as “this blind man” (Carver 32). He never uses his name, and he does not assign him any human attributes. The narrator stereotypes Robert as this dependent blind man who walks slowly with a cane, has a seeing eye dog, and wears dark glasses, but in fact, he could not be more wrong. When Robert arrives to the couples home, the husband does not know what to say to him. The husband asks stupid questions about the view from the train: “Which side of the train did you sit on?” (Carver 34). The husband knows that Robert can not see the view, nor does it matter, but he asks these questions anyways. The husband continually thinks, “I don't know what else to say” (Carver 34). This can be a clear indication that he not trying hard enough to relate to Robert, and the narrator is a bit uneducated. These examples show how the narrator feels awkward around Robert, and he see's him as just a handicap, instead of seeing the fact that Robert made it all the way to his home on his own by train with no help needed.

The narrator also has a problem with not knowing how to act around the blind friend either. After dinner all three of them leave the kitchen to go to the living to chat and catch up. When the...
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