"Cathedral" written by Raymond Carver.

Topics: Blindness, Visual impairment, Raymond Carver Pages: 2 (693 words) Published: March 26, 2004
In the story "Cathedral" written by Raymond Carver, it seems that stereotypes of the blind form barriers between the blind and the sighted. The man in the story has always had misconceptions of the blind which "came from the movies" (Carver 1). The title, "Cathedral", is significant because it helps the man envision the life of Robert. As Robert, the blind man, entered his life, it was hard for the man to form any bond with Robert due to his visual impairment. The man even created a picture in his mind of what Robert would look like, and how he would act. This is because the man has never had any interaction with a blind person, making him have preconceived ideas about Robert.

Having Robert stay at the man's house left the man feeling quite uneasy. Not only was Robert a threat to his wife, he also thought that Robert may be a hassle to deal with. The man stated, "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me" (Carver 1). Because the man had such strong images in his mind about Robert, the first time he saw Robert caught him by surprise. Robert's appearance was not unordinary, and did not look like a blind person. " He wore brown slacks, brown shoes, a light brown shirt, a tie, a sports coat. Spiffy" (Carver 32). At this point, the man's ideas about the blind people's appearance had been contradicted.

When the man realized that his assumptions about Robert were false, and that they actually shared some things in common, he began to feel more comfortable with Robert, even being, "glad for the company" (Carver 84). This is the first time the man was being polite and friendly to Robert. Soon after, a bond between Robert and the man had begun after a program about cathedrals came on the television. The man becomes aware that, "There were times when the Englishman who was telling the thing would shut up, would simply let the camera move around over the cathedrals" (Carver 92). The silence in the room became awkward...
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