Seeing Things from a Different Perspective in Raymond Carver's Story, Cathedral

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In Raymond Carver’s story “Cathedral” the narrator learns what it means to “see” through someone who cannot. To see is to be able to view the things around us while putting aside preconceived notions or fear about these objects or people. In order for this to occur once must overcome what they feel is out of the ordinary and learn to accept things as they are. At first the narrator is doesn’t accept the man and uncomfortable around Robert. The narrator soon comes to understand this when he puts aside his fears, and judgments that he can see more than what meets the eye, and the freedom that comes along with this seeing. Throughout the text the narrator is either jealous or scared and has some idea of what a blind person should look or …show more content…
The man, Robert, being blind just makes the situation uncomfortable for him. The narrator felt that Robert should look a certain way and live differently from others. “But he didn’t use a cane and he didn’t use dark glasses.” (pg.350) This made Robert seem more like a normal man and the narrator didn’t want to accept this. The narrator didn’t to believe that the blind man could lead a normal life. He shows this by pitying Robert’s wife and how she must have lived a pitiful. “A woman who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from her beloved.”(pg.349) The narrator cannot imagine how someone could love another who cannot even see what they look like and be able to compliment them. The thought of a blind man living in the normal world makes the narrator feel uncomfortable and not want to let this man into his life. Even though the narrator appears to be very ungrateful for the company of Robert, Robert tries to get through to him by just being pleasant and talking to him. As the narrator puts aside his fears he realizes that he is very interested in what the blind man can actually visualize. “Something occurred to me. Do you have any idea what a cathedral is? What they look like, that is? Do you follow me?” (pg.355) This shows that the narrator does, in fact want to know how the blind man lives and what he can actually see. He finally sees that the blind man is more than just a

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