Who is the Real Blind Man?
In the story Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, the narrator makes multiple statements as to how he feels about Robert, the blind man. The statements are made purely on what the narrator has seen in movies and what he has read. The narrator makes harsh judgments of the blind mind regarding his inability to see his surroundings and other people. However, the narrator fails to see things the same way that Robert does, more deeply. Throughout the story the narrator finds himself beginning to understand the blind man’s condition in that he can see more than he anticipates. The narrator, or ‘Bub’ as the blind man calls him, goes through a drastic change of character throughout the time of getting to know Robert. After talking and having a few drinks with Robert and getting to know him a little better, Bub begins to see things as the blind man does and shines some light on a whole new perspective of being able to see.
During the beginning of the story, Bub describes how he views bling people by saying, “My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were lead by seeing-eye dogs” (Carver, 1983/2013, p 106). Bub could instantly see that his perception was wrong as soon as he peered out the window and saw the Robert laughing with his wife, getting out of the car himself, and grabbing his own suitcase from the back of the car. Bub had also made assumptions that since blind people could not see, that they were unable to do many things that others could do, therefore making him feel more superior to Robert and jealous of the close relationship that Robert had with his wife. Bub thought himself to be a better man merely based on the fact that he had working eyes that allowed him to view the world; to see was to be able to view his wife and enjoy the way she looked and to know what emotions people were showing based on facial expressions. Everything that Bub thought as being good in...
Cited: Carver, Raymond. “Cathedral.” 1983. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 12th ed. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 105-115. Print.
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