February 24, 2013
“The most fatal illusion is a settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view assassinates anybody who holds one” (Unknown) Close mindedness creates an unenthusiastic environment where the process of “life experience” is denied. There are millions of different opinions and thoughts in the world we live in. If one`s ignorance continually obstructs the process of experience than a life is bound to be uneventful. In Raymond Carter`s Cathedral the narrator undergoes a transformation after meeting a blind man who eventfully catalyzes the ability for the narrator to recognize the importance of new opinions.
The story begins with the narrator we know as “Bub” providing the building blocks of the plot. “The blind man, an old friend of my wife`s, he was on his way to spend the night”. (Carver 78) His wife has befriended a blind man during a summer when she worked for him. They continued to talk after that summer and they became well acquainted. Bub was not to keen on the blind man staying in his house, “His being blind bothered me.” (Carver 78) He continued to belittle Robert with rude remarks and slanders.
After Robert arrives Bub`s weariness continues to pester his mind. “Did you have a good train ride, which side did you sit on?” He asks Robert. Obviously the side of the train where Robert was seated is completely irrelevant.
After getting to know one another Robert and Bub build interest in one another. They begin to converse and get to know a little more about each other. Bub finds that Robert is a truly a knowledgeable well rounded man.
Perspective is always a factor when shaping opinions, but how can one form perspective if the only perspective known is their own. The turning point for Bub is at the dinner table when he analyzes the way Robert eats. He notices how immaculate and proper Robert is while eating. Bub become fascinated with the way Robert is able to continue living even though his blind. Bub notes every time Robert feels his beard, which is what I believe, used as a tool to detect surroundings. A blind man who is able to function as a regular human being is teaching an average Joe how to appreciate the things little things life has to offer.
Bub`s wife eventually falls asleep while the two men are watching a T.V. show talking about cathedrals. After the narrator on the