Theme of Blindness

Topics: Blindness, Mind, Thought Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Discuss the theme of blindness in relation to any THREE of your set short stories. Blindness is used as a motif in many of the set short stories, including "Cathedral", "Dead Men's Path", and "Everyday Use". In these short stories, Robert is physically blind while other characters are metaphorically blind, such as Michael Obi, Dee and the narrator in "Cathedral".

To start with, Michael Obi and the narrator in "Cathedral" are blinded by prejudice. Michael Obi is blinded by "his passion for 'modern methods' and his denigration" of the "old and superannuated people". He looks down on the "backward" "pagan ritual" that the villagers follow for years. The villagers believe that "the path" "connects the village shrine with their place of burial. It is seldom used. However, Michael Obi did not respect their "ritual" and "close it" with "large sticks" and "barbed wire" as he thought “the Government Education Officer” would not appreciate it and this “pagan ritual” would affect the school’s and his reputation. He is blinded by his prejudice towards "old" "ritual" and tradition, and therefore "close" the villagers' "ancestral footpath".

The narrator in "Cathedral" is also blinded by prejudice. He is blinded by his prejudice towards blind men. He perceives that every blind men should have lived a "pathetic" and "pitiful life". Although he had never "met, or personally known, anyone who was blind" before and his "idea of blindness came from the movies", he has all kinds of perception and stereotyping for "blind man". He had always thought that "dark glasses were a must for the blind", "the blind didn't smoke" or drink. He was also amazed when he watched Robert "used his knife and fork on the meat" and "didn't want to be left alone with" Robert as he had never thought that a "blind man" can use "knife and fork". The fact that he seldom mentions Robert's name, also reinforces that he is prejudice towards "blind man". He had always thought that the blind should have a...
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