Irony in Cathedral

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Irony occurs in every single person’s daily life. The short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver tells a story in which many people in the world can connect to. From the way Carver writes the first sentence he sounds very annoyed. Within the first paragraph it says why he is so agitated and it is for the lone reason that his wife’s friend, a blind man, is coming to visit. Robert, the blind man, is not the only blind person in this story, but rather the narrator is as well. Not physically, but instead he is blinded by his own ignorance. Irony is used throughout the story to show the transformation of one man; from an ignorant narrow-minded jerk, to a man that is completely capable of now “seeing”. From the very beginning, Carver blatantly shows his hate for Robert but as the story moves along Robert helps teach Carver a lesson that is a necessity to reach any kind of further success in his life.
The narrator has all that he needs in his life. He seems to be comfortable with money as he spends money on marijuana and lots of fancy alcohol. He takes for granted the fact that he has a wife that cares for him, and the fact he has the ability to actually see. One thing about the narrator is that he is very judgmental. The reason Robert was coming to visit was because his wife had passed away and was visiting her relatives. His wife’s name was Beulah. The narrator hears that name and the first he asks is if she is black. He didn’t listen to anything about her or anything else, and just assumed she was black. Before he even meets the blind man he has already made his assessment of what he thinks of him. The narrator says “He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me…. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to.” (Carver 32). The husband does not refer Robert by his name, but rather “the blind man”. At the very beginning he didn’t want Robert to come to the house period because of the negative stereotypes associated blind people. Such as they



Cited: Carver, Raymond. “Cathedral.” The Norton Introduction to Literature Portable 10th Edition. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. 31-42. Print.

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