Hum 102 – 010
The Blind Man who Changed the Life of the Man who Sees
In the short story Cathedral Bub makes a slow transition from being closed minded to being open minded concerning his thoughts about blind people, mainly Robert. When Bub first met Robert, he was surprised to find that Robert did not meet the typical physical appearance of a blind man, which would consist of dark glasses and a cane. Nevertheless his preconceived theory on Robert and other blind people is that they are full of sadness and depression. In this short story Bub’s thoughts and ideas emerge to see who Robert for who he really is as an individual. When Bub first met Robert, he comes off as completely insensitive towards him and disregards the recent passing of Robert's wife, Beulah. Part of Bub’s actions may have much to do with his jealousy that Robert knew Bub’s wife longer than he did and was unaware of their relationship. Bub slowly takes sarcastic jabs’ at Robert asking him if he has televisions in his home, once Robert replies yes, Bub then corresponds with “are they color?” Bub asks this as if it makes a difference, but more so to point out Robert’s handicap because of Bub’s own insecurities. In the asking of this question, Bub learns that Robert doesn’t need eyes to enjoy the television and he will experience that same feeling closer to the end of the story. As the conversation between Bub and Robert begin to progress, Bub’s thoughts about blind people begin to shift slightly. It is apparent that he no longer looks at Robert as incompetent or less than human because Bub began to open up and tell Robert his feelings about life. Not only does Bub do that, he also shared a drink and even smoked with Robert. In the beginning of the story Bub even his thought of blind people not being able to drink or smoke. In Bubs mind he probably thought that a blind man can’t possibly enjoy alcohol or anything else because they are too busy being depressed about their handicap. Bubs new mindset on Robert changes completely when his dialogue develops further with Robert while trying to describe what a cathedral is exactly. Bub starts to assist Robert in the visualization of a cathedral by drawing it with Roberts hand on top of bubs. Once Robert tells Bub to continue drawing it with his eyes closed, Bubs mind is now open and he feels free. Free enough to not open them back once he is instructed to do so, this is significant because Bub now respects Robert even more than before and may even admire him. It is quite Ironic that a cathedral is where people unite and come together and the discussion of one brought Bub closer to Robert. Although Robert is blind, Bub was blinded by ignorance but together they help each other see.