The Theme Of Cathedral By Raymond Carver Essay

902 Words Oct 26th, 2014 4 Pages
The theme of “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver is blindness, both literally and figuratively. The story is about a man, the narrator, who is blinded by his prejudice. He is forced into an uncomfortable situation when his wife invites an old friend into their home. The narrator is made to share his home with a blind man, whom he has never met, named Robert. Robert, despite his handicap, is very insightful and drastically opens the narrator’s eyes to the world around him. He helps the narrator to overcome his blindness “Although he is blind, he “sees” how to get along with others in profound and important ways. By contrast, the narrator, although sighted, does not see how his isolation damages himself, his wife, and their relationship. He is metaphorically blind to his own human relationships” (Henningfeld) At the start of the story the narrator’s insecurities, ignorance, and prejudice begin to show as he plays through his wife’s past. He describes her first husband, “Her officer—why should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, and what more does he want?” (Carver 79) and one can sense his insecurity about their own marriage and feel the jealousy he has over her first husband. He then reveals that his wife’s first marriage ended with her attempt to commit suicide, and instead of empathizing with her or feeling relief that she failed, he is remarkably unconcerned. Instead of being happy that the blind man was there to listen and reply to her…

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