Written by the contemporary American author Raymond Carver, in 1981, the short story “Cathedral” illustrates a man’s experience that allows him to understand the world around him. Although some particular events seem unimportant, the story, through careful analysis of the characters, reveals that authors idea that the physical ability to see does not make one person superior to someone who cannot see. Throughout the story, the protagonist is influenced by the way Robert, the antagonist, interacts with the wife. The protagonist does not have a deep relationship with his wife, and he longs for her acknowledgement. For example, the protagonist pleads, “I waited in vain to hear my name from my wifes sweet lips…” (Carver 110). Roberts interactions with the wife portray a deep relationship that the protagonist could learn from.
Although Robert is physically blind, he is far more insightful than the narrator. The narrator is unable to look beneath the surface in order to understand people, especially his wife. Robert, the antagonist, aids the protagonist in seeing what is beneath the surface when he draws a cathedral with him. The protagonist describes the experience as something he had never before felt. (Carver 115). The act of blindly drawing a cathedral allowed the narrator to “see” a deeper meaning in life.
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