January 11, 2015
A Blind Man’s View
In Raymond Carver’s story, Cathedral, the narrator is never named but he is descripted by how he describes the blind man. He is described as very vulgar, not being able to hold his tongue. He tells you that he has never seen a blind man let alone tried to have a conversation with one. He is very ignorant to the fact of all the things blind people can still do and the extra pleasures of life that they have. In this story the narrator learns how to see through the eyes of a blind man. There are several points in the story where the blind man teaches him something new about the perspective a blind man has of the world. In order to explain what the blind man teaches to the narrator, a couple of examples of how the narrator is ignorant are necessary. The first example is when the narrator is thinking to himself before Robert, the blind man, gets to his house. He thinks to himself, “They’d married, lived and worked together, slept together-had sex, sure-and then the blind man had to bury her. All this without his having ever seen what the goddamn woman looked like. It was beyond my Understanding.” (Carver 35). In this quote the narrator doesn’t understand that even though Robert had never “seen” his wife that he was able to get an idea of what she looked like by feeling her features. The blind man also is also able to look past someone’s appearance and get a first impression by the way someone talks to him rather than their skin color or the way they dress. In a way the narrator is blinded from who people really are because he is a sighted person. Another example of his incompetence is when Robert starts to smoke and the narrator thinks, “I remembered having read somewhere that the blind didn’t smoke because as speculation had it, they couldn’t see the smoke they exhaled. I thought I knew that much and that much only about blind people.” (Carver 36). This is a prime example of how the...
Cited: Carver, Raymond. “Cathedral” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Kelly J. Mays 11th ed.
New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. 32-42. Print.
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