Essay about The Blind Man By Raymond Carver

1099 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
In Raymond Carver’s short story Cathedral, he establishes an ignorant narrator, dependent on alcohol and fixated upon physical appearance. He juxtaposes the narrator to a blind man who feels emotion rather than sees it. Through indirect characterization and first person limited point of view, Carver foils the narcissistic narrator to the intuitive blind man while utilizing sight as a symbol of emotional understanding. He establishes the difference between looking and seeing to prove that sight is more than physical.
Through the juxtaposing characterization of the husband and the blind man, Carver establishes the opposing views on emotional relationships. The husband’s narcissistic personality enables him to view his wife as an object, while the blind man, Robert, treats her as a friend and a confidant, highlighting the difference between looking and seeing. The narrator’s inability to feel emotion causes him to value his wife’s body more than her emotions, therefore, he becomes jealous when the blind man touches her. Rather than concentrating on his wife’s attachment to the blind man, he focuses on their physical interaction. He recounts that “[the blind man] touched his fingers to every part of her face, her nose—even her neck!” (Carver 1). Instead of acknowledging the power of touch, the narrator concentrates on their “sexual” interaction; rather than caring for her emotional well-being, he objectifies her for letting a man touch her body. Because of the narrator’s…

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