Cathedral, by Raymond Carver Essay

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Raymond Carver, in his short story Cathedral uses a first-person narrator, whose point of view is very much limited and flawed. The narrator in Cathedral has full use of all his senses, unlike the blind man, Robert, who is introduced very early in the story. When comparing the two again, however, Robert is the character that is open to new ideas and willing to experience the joys of life, while the narrator limits himself due to his close-minded thinking. It brings up the question, who is truly blind in the story? Is it a physical ailment or a mental block? The narrator is never given a name in the story, making him the most impersonal character in the story. This also adds to the fact that the narrator is highly ignorant about his …show more content…
This impression was made again when the narrator was speaking of his wife’s past love stating, “Why should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, what more does he want?” (35). He has a clear jealousy toward the other men in his wife’s life. It makes me question if Robert had not been blind, would the narrator have found another reason to be uncomfortable with the situation? In the same aspect, when the narrator is telling of his wife, it is clear he has no interest in her personal feelings. He states that his wife loves to write poetry, but when describing it he says, “I admit it’s not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read” (35). It seems contradictory that a man who clearly has little interest in his life could be jealous of any other man that she associates with. The beginning of the story gives the first glimpse into the narrator’s mind, and shows the reader what kind of point of view the story is going to be told in. His ignorance is clear, and made me very skeptical of everything else the narrator said throughout the story. When reading further into the story, the narrator somehow makes himself seem even more ignorant. In the moments before Robert is introduced, the narrator questions how he could ever be married. He does not know how a woman can go through life without being complimented on her looks. This further confirms the most important thing to the

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