Cathedral Essay

Topics: Fiction, Anton Chekhov, Short story Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: September 25, 2012
Sometimes we have to look beyond what we see on the outside to understand something more deeply. In the short story Cathedral By Raymond Carver, the narrator has an attitude of being selfish, and jealous through the story. The narrator’s wife invites a blind man, Robert, to come stay in their house for a short time while the man visits family members of his own wife who recently passed. The narrator is not enthusiastic because blind people make the narrator uncomfortable, mainly because the narrator has no real experience with the blind. In addition, to his uneasiness with the blind the narrator is uncomfortable with the relationship his wife and the blind man have. The wife and Robert, the blind man, have maintained a close relationship via tape recordings mailed back and forth. Despite the narrators feelings about the visit, Robert shows up, and the three of them dine together. By the end of the story the narrator begins to understand and accept Robert and his blindness. In the short story Cathedral, Carver uses binary oppositions of blindness versus the seeing to show the theme of ignorance through the first person’s narrator’s journey from insecurity to openness. The short story is set in the days when the switch from black and white to color television was in its early stages, and when cassette tapes were a popular type of technology. The setting is not explained in great detail but throughout the short story hints are being made for us to have a better understanding. The basic setting of the story is a middle-class home, over one single evening. With the title “Cathedral” one would think it’d be a little more intricate than that, although; towards the end of the story the setting becomes more of a important place, kind of like a Cathedral. For the narrator, the literal setting of the story, his home, is not his problem, he is trapped by his limited vision to see beyond what he feels is comfortable. The second to last line tells a lot about the...
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