Raymond Carver's Short Story Cathedral

Superior Essays
Raymond Carver was born on May 1938 and is the author of many famous short stories, one of his most known texts is called “Cathedral” (Britannica.com). Carver is known for speaking about the hardships of the working poor through his writings (Britannca.com). He himself faced many obstacles in life, one being alcoholism. Although this was a hard thing to conquer, he was able to move on and soon began teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso where he continued to share his personal life stories.
In the short story there are several characters. There is the author, Robert, who is blind and the narrator who is the husband of Roberts’s best friend. At the beginning of the text the audience notices that the narrator’s wife and Robert once
…show more content…
Robert asks the narrator to describe what exactly was being shown. For the first time the title of the short story is brought up. The narrator must describe the cathedral. With much thought, the word “cathedral” might be a symbol that helps out with the tone of the text. Many readers know that a cathedral is a church with beautiful architecture. Normally when people see this type of church they stand in such awe of the sight which they see. If we compare the blind man and all of the amazing things he is capable of doing regardless of his disability to the cathedral which is filled with hope and faith we see a great comparison. Throughout the story the blind man helps the narrator see what is most important to him. The narrator is blind from his soul and the author is making him feel again, because he is blind he is able to see much more than one can imagine. All the narrator has to do is close his eyes. They say that when you close your eyes all the other senses you poses are heightened. However, when people see someone with a disability, they automatically assume that they are less than any other person. This point is one of the key ideas that we see throughout the short story “Cathedral”. This idea that, because one is blind they are disabled and unable to go on with life’s challenges. With this title the readers are able to gather all of this …show more content…
The story starts with the narrator being “blind” to his life and surroundings and as the story progresses the readers watch him change and realize what he is missing in his life. In this short story, the blind man does much more than just make the narrator realize that having a disability does not make you a lesser person, “the blind man gives him a faculty of sight that he is not even aware that he lacks” (Facknitz 293). The text begins with a very stereotypical, even sarcastic tone at the beginning of the story and ends with a great life lesson. At the end of all the judging the narrator finally sees what kind of person he has been for the majority of his life. He soon understands that it is not about the disabilities one has, but about the spirit that one carries inside of them. The ability to listen, understand, and put the judgments takes much more than just two eyes that can see the physical things. “Cathedral” helps the readers see that it takes eyes which can see the things beyond a physical appearance to have a full understanding of the people around

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver deals with a selfish man who is opened up to the world by a blind man. Indirectly, seeing rather then looking, is the author’s major theme in this story. Through repetition, tone, and language the narrator is portrayed as a self centered man who only cares about himself. The plot and structure of the short story has you wondering about the story until the very last sentences. The narrator throughout the whole story does not call anybody by their real name and does not care about anyone else’s lives or outlooks.…

    • 1452 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The husband was about to lose himself for good when the blind man showed up. Initially he is filled with precursors of the blind man then gets to know him and eventually is taught to see through a blind man. We can either realize what our flaws are and change them, or we can fail to understand our flaws until it is too…

    • 933 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Delusion represents in this story, the narrator does not meet the intensity of his loneliness. Yet, he turns his sadness towards others, attaching people mentally. It is not until Robert pushes himself into the narrator’s life that the narrator understands he is lonely and desperately seeks more from life. Isolation/Loneliness represents in this story, the narrator gives Robert credit for anything is when the narrator accepts that he is finally happy to have company in his home. Robert shows the narrator the amusement of freedom and quality, the bliss of feeling part of the world outside of himself.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After they have finished, the narrator closes his eyes and feels the finished work, excited by the experience. In the beginning of the story, the only thing that the narrator knew about the blind man was that he was blind. He had judged the blind man for this, forming a bias that caused him to actively seek out other issues with the blind man. By the end of the story, the narrator finally sees the traits that his wife admires in Robert, acknowledging him and his experiences, even appreciating his blindness and his unique…

    • 908 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The word ‘blind’ isn’t likely to be equated with an actual blind person in today’s world, more often is it used to represent a more abstract concept. Blindness has come to represent a great variety of things in literature, being used as a metaphor for everything from ignorance to supernatural powers. These views of blind people as being different have become engrained in our minds after many years of establishment through literature. Nevertheless the opinion held by many people who actually experience blindness themselves (including the President of the National Federation of the Blind) is that their ideal would simply be to be treated the same as anybody who still has their sight. However, People who are blind can’t do anything for themselves,…

    • 1778 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In the story, Oedipus’ hubris and arrogance stop him from taking people 's advice over and over again, which shows that sometimes it 's better for one to just listen to others when they 're trying to help and open up their eyes. Oedipus is blind to the fact that the fate he had tried so hard to deny, had come true without him knowing it. Being blinded by the truth can only last to a certain extent, and for Oedipus the truth hits him after the Shepherd and Tiresias a physically blind man revealed his past. Oedipus is blind up until the point where the Shepherd clearly told him that he married his mother, killed his father. Up until then he was figuratively blind, and once finding out the truth he became physically blind.…

    • 1233 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Although blindness has become one of Borges’ strengths it still is seen partly as a weakness. “In 1955 the pathetic moment came when I knew I had lost my sight, my reader's and writer’s sight.” Losing his reader and writer’s sight, he has lost his ability to look at literature the way he used to. He no longer could easily look at texts and analyze them rather now this would be much more difficult using braille as an alternative. All in all Borges’ identifies and explains that even though he is proud of his blindness it has cut him off from the world he use to…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    That’s’ good.” Through his complimentary remarks, Robert obviously encourages him not to relinquish drawing the cathedral. Ironically, the blind person takes the role that vivifies and makes the person, who is actually able to see with his physical eyes, to realize the huge thing that is surely freed from his hidebound stereotypes. In this regard, the story of the cathedral makes modern people to consider who the real blind person is regardless of physical eyes. The scene shows that Robert who has just a little defect physically helps the protagonist who can clearly see. After they finish drawing the cathedral together, the protagonist finally feels that it’s really something.…

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While one cannot see he has to imagine what others explain, thus letting the blind person create whatever it is in their head. A prime example of this would be the story of “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver. This story is about the adventure of a man who has a blind guest. Carver uses dialogue to compliment the theme of the story; looking vs. seeing. As the story begins the reader is told about Robert, the blind man, and a little bit about his life.…

    • 714 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By first analyzing the word choice in both the aforementioned works by Nack and Carlin, the theme of isolation becomes more readily identifiable. In The Minstrel Boy, a poem which grimly describes his deafness and detachment, Nack writes, “Vacant unconsciousness must me enthral!” (35). This “vacant unconsciousness” was not exclusive to Nack, in fact, many deaf writers, authors, and poets brought up this idea of being desolate and remote from the hearing community. However, Nack chose to employ an emphasized “me” rather than “The Deaf and Dumb”. This shows not only a sequestration from society as a whole, but also from the very community in which he should find acceptance.…

    • 1194 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics