ENG 102 Section N02
February 10, 2014
An Interpretation of Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”
Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” tells the story in first person narration, of a man that at first when confronted with the notion of his wife’s blind friend Robert visiting them at their home, is hung up on the fact that he is blind and cannot really relate to that concept. The narrator’s wife became acquainted with Robert prior to her first marriage, which failed due to her then husband’s military career that constantly uprooted her. She had answered an ad Robert had placed in a newspaper seeking someone that would read for him. Prior to moving away Robert made a request that deeply moved her, which was to be able to touch her face with his hands so he could I assume truly “see” her. This experience she would try to tell her husband in the form of a poem, which she would often write when something significant happened to her. Over the course of the story, which focuses on the events that happen when Robert visits the couple at their home in Connecticut after the passing of his wife, we see the narrator change from a man who seems able to only look at things and pass judgment to truly being able to “see” by experiencing first hand with Robert a similar event that had so deeply impacted his wife years earlier when he touched her face.
There are three characters found in this story, but only one we learn the name of and that is the blind man Robert. The narrator seems to be a man who is very myopic and frankly quite shallow emotionally. His tone immediately is harsh, referring to his wife’s dear friend initially as “this blind man” who he was bothered by because of his blindness (Carver 473). He states openly that he does not look forward to him visiting, and that all he really knows about blind people is from movies, which is that they move slowly, are unable to laugh, and that on occasion are led by seeing-eye dogs (Carver 473). When he speaks...
Cited: Carver, Raymond. “A Worn Path.” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Kirszner, Laurie G., Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. 473-483. Print.
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