Countless people assume that they have a clear idea of what they need or feel. The terror of something unpredictable makes people create an illusion of their life and shield themselves against the imminent and unknown danger. In “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin, the protagonist is led to believe her husband has died in a train accident and reacts to the news with new feelings but finishes the story with an unexpected and tragic finale. In “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the narrator agrees to meet a blind friend of his wife at his house. The narrator it is not enthusiastic about the visit and because the guest is blind. With a surprising ending the blind man, is able to change the narrator’s point of view and teach him how to open his mind’s eye while drawing a Cathedral without actually looking. “The Story of An Hour” and “Cathedral” explore new and diverse feelings, love is interpreted differently and their ending is very distinct.
The first way in which “The Story of An Hour” is contrasting the “Cathedral” is in the unexpected new feelings of Mrs. Mallard. In “The Story of An Hour” Mrs. Mallard receives the news of her husband death and runs in her room and locks herself because she did not wanted to be disturbed in this moment of weakness, leaving only her window open. Staring at the window, “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves” (1). She never observed them before and now she just realized a powerful feeling that she never felt, freedom. She likes the sound of freedom and she doesn’t want to give it away. On the other hand, the “Cathedral” the narrator feels and understands that often blind people can see more the ordinary people and the blind man is able to change the narrator’s immoral opinion of them. At first, the narrator was not enthusiastic about blind people and he considered them slow and not funny. The wife of the narrator had his blinded friend come over to their house and that night the narrator had an illumination. The blind man asked the narrator to draw with him a Cathedral but he has to do it with the closed eyes. “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything” (590). The narrator in short time realized that he didn’t wanted to open his eyes yet because he likes it and that you don’t always need your eyes to be open to see. The two stories have two distinguishing new feelings one of embracing freedom and one of expanding knowledge.
The second contrast between “The Story of An Hour” and the “Cathedral” is the love in their marriages. In “The Story of An Hour” Mrs. Mallard after the death of her husband realized that only sometimes she loved her husband but she understands that now her love for freedom is more powerful. She thought, “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself” (3). Those big changes in her mind were made in less than one hour which makes us understand how powerful her love was for her husband. However, in the “Cathedral” the narrator loves his wife and the wife loves him back. The narrator agrees to meet the unwanted blind man in his house and tries