Cathedral: Blindness and Bub Essay

Submitted By smcle
Words: 1031
Pages: 5

Sara McLeod
Comp II
February 2, 2015

Mentally Blind
The act of looking is cognate to physical vision, but the act of seeing requires a much deeper level of engagement. There is a life outside the world of physical abilities as some easily lose sight of, causing them to limit themselves into an unconscious state of mind. If one has the capability of seeing something past its physical appearance, they will be able to see life in a different light. Much like in Raymond Carter’s short story, “Cathedral” Bub can physically see, but doesn’t realize the restrictions he has put on himself which have prevented him from perceiving anything greater in life than what’s physically put in front of him. In this story the theme of ignorance is seen by wrong assumptions and the lack of knowledge that one could easily overcome by treating others equally. To begin with, when one makes crude judgments on others their assumptions can usually misguide them. People are eager to judge someone by their physical features and one could blame some of it on the visuals they get from the media. People have this stereotype about blind people as if because they are blind, they are all the same. They picture big black glasses that cover their eyes as they slowly walk with a cane or a guide dog leading them in the right direction unable to show any sort of emotion (174). Bub is reluctant from the very beginning about Robert and his blindness. As Bub and his wife make small talk before Robert’s arrival, Bub does nothing but trash talk about the poor guy knowing that he had just lost his wife (176). Bub begins to question if Robert can even morn over his wife’s passing. Robert has never physically seen his wife so how could he possibly have any sort of attachment to this woman (176). Bub is so insensitive and mentally blind from the inner light that he can’t even despair Robert’s casualty. Bub is so oblivious to the assumptions he’s making that he is falling short of what is right in front of him. Therefore, Bubs lack of knowledge is causing him to be unaware of the limitations he has built for himself. One example of this vagueness is when Bub begins scanning through the TV channels trying to find something new to watch. He found nothing of his interest, and puts it on the same channel he was on beforehand (180). Bub has no desire to learn anything new. No wonders or curiosity about the world he’s living in. Bub has become complacent to the things around him so he doesn’t look into anything past what he can see with his visual eye. Consequently, Robert’s values are much deeper than that. After Bub apologizes for changing all the channels, Robert makes it known that it was ok (180). Robert then says, “It’s fine with me. Whatever you want to watch is okay. I’m always learning something. Learning never ends. It won’t hurt me to learn something tonight. I got ears” (180). Contradicting to Bub, Robert is open- minded and eager to learn new things. Another representation of Bub’s horrible effort to want any greater knowledge in his life is when Robert questions him about his beliefs. Bub says, “I guess I don’t believe in it. In anything. Sometimes it’s hard. You know what I’m saying?” (181). Bub underestimates his beliefs. He isn’t sure what he believes in and what he doesn’t. As a matter of fact, Bub is uncertain if he even believes in anything. Bub is scared to look deeper into his thoughts. He finds it challenging to find the inner light within him. For Bub is mentally blind, he is naïve in his own potential to grasp the knowledge set before him. Although Bub’s blindness seems to consume his life, he seems to overcome the blindness for a moment of grace when he begins to draw the cathedral with Robert. As bub starts drawing, it’s hard