What Can You See?

Topics: Thought, Mind, Narrator, Microsoft Narrator, Blindness, Raymond Carver / Pages: 9 (2066 words) / Published: Apr 19th, 2013
Douglas Kleinsmith
Lisa Rochford
8:00- 9:20 MW
18 March 2013
What Can You See?
For many, you have to see something to believe it. However, when looking at the beliefs of a blind person, we discover that seeing may actually distort our beliefs. In Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral”, an unnamed narrator tells a story of meeting a blind man for the first time in his life. Before meeting Robert, the narrator tells us of how uncomfortable he is about him. If it had not been for his obligation to meet this man, he probably would have chosen to avoid it altogether. As the story goes on, a transformation is seen with the narrator’s attitude towards this man, a transformation that symbolizes a far more important transformation within his very being. Carver means to show us that just because you can see something, doesn’t mean that you understand it, and just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean you do not understand it. “I’ve never met, or personally know, anyone who was blind… I’d always thought dark glasses were a must for the blind. Fact was, I wished he had a pair.” (140) Much of the story is filled with sarcastic and rude thoughts of the narrator; thoughts that are best left as thoughts. If he had voiced all of the opinions he had regarding Robert to his wife, the story would have ended with a divorce, not a revelation. Stuck up and overconfident, the narrator seems to think he understands everything. He is thinking of the world as if it was all about him and his ego. We are all guilty of this sometimes, but it seems that the narrator is guilty of it a lot more than sometimes. His self-centered perception of the world shows us that he does not see things how they truly are.
Time goes on and Robert, the wife and the narrator go about their pleasantries, always with a glass of scotch close by. In stories with a message about spirituality, alcohol and marijuana are typically demonized in the western culture. Carver takes a refreshing approach to

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