The Blind Man In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Register to read the introduction… The other characters are the aforementioned wife of the narrator, and Robert the blind man. The initial tone of the story is set in the opening line of the story, Carver (1983) writes “This blind man, an old friend of my wife’s, he was on the way to spend the night.” There is an obvious disdain in the tone of the narrator. The narrator goes on to say about Robert “I wasn’t enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me” (Carver, R, 1983).
According to Clugston (2010) “A short story should contain a plot with a conflict driven tied together actions and events.” Throughout Cathedral there are two defined conflicts.
The first is the character versus character conflict between the narrator and Robert. As previously noted, the narrator is uncomfortable with Roberts’s blindness. He is also aware of the relationship his wife has had with the man, which makes him more uncomfortable. The second conflict is character versus self. The narrator is insecure in his relationship with his wife. He is uncommunicative and unresponsive to her attempts to share with him. The wife has tried to share her poetry and recorded conversations with Robert in which they spoke of the narrator, but the narrator shows indifference as Carver (1983)
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The television was on and a program about cathedrals was being broadcast. The conversation turned to the narrator trying to verbally describe a cathedral to Robert. Upon Robert’s request, paper and pen were gathered to draw a cathedral. The two men hunkered on the floor together holding a pen, and drew a cathedral. The narrator drew as Robert’s hand rode along feeling the lines and shapes. Robert then instructed the narrator to close his eyes and they continued drawing. When asked to open his eyes and see the creation, Carver (1983)

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