Character Analysis: the narrator (Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”)
The narrator in Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” is portrayed as someone who lacks insight and awareness of the things around him. He is paralyzed, stuck in a destructive way of living. The narrator does not realize the limitations he has placed on himself that prevent him from seeing things greater than life.
Carver exposes the narrator’s true personality using a first-person narrative. It isn’t hard to tell that the narrator is jealous of Robert and his wives past relationship. His wife used to work for Robert one summer in Seattle, ten years ago, as a “Reading to Blind Man” (299). She had to quit when she decided to marry her childhood sweetheart for her first marriage, but Robert and her stayed in touch by sending each other voice tapes through the mail (301). The narrator is making assumptions and criticisms about blind people because of his jealousy towards his wives and Roberts’s relationship. You can speculate this because of the sequence the story is told in: first the narrator talks about the relationship the blind man and his wife used to have, and then he talks about what he thinks of blind people in general. He states that his idea of blindness came from the movies and that he has never met a blind person before (299). The narrator doesn’t seem happy in his marriage. His wife asks if her blind friend, Robert, can stay with them because his wife just passed away (299). “ If you love me, you can do this for me… and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable.” (301). The previous quote shows that the narrator does seem to love and admire his wife because he tries so hard to make Robert comfortable near the end of the story. This also suggests that his wife loves him too and that he should have to worry about Robert staying in their home.
The narrator and Robert decide to watch TV once his wife falls asleep on the couch between them (307). He then realizes how outrageous...
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