Insecurity And Jealousy In Carver's Cathedral

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Pages: 4

In “Cathedral”, by Ramon Carver, an unnamed man tells the story of a blind man who visits his long time friend, the narrator’s wife. The blind man, Robert, met the narrator’s wife 10 years prior when she worked as a reader to the blind. Robert, who lost his wife, Beulah, is on his way to spend the night in the narrator’s home. The narrator highlights that Beulah had also worked for Robert as a reader to blind the summer after the narrator’s wife stopped working for him. The narrator, not too enthusiastic about the visit, quickly expresses his dissatisfaction which reveals insecurity instead of jealousy. This illustrates how close friendships can provoke insecurities and trust issues between couples.

Throughout the story, the narrator mentions that a blind man in his house is not something he looks forward to. He is uncomfortable with a stranger in the house but compromises as his wife made sensitive comments that interfered with his conscious. The wife reasoned that the narrator should not have a problem with Robert visiting and spending the night out of love and consideration that she would make his guest feel comfortable in the same situation. The friendship between Robert and the narrator’s wife had lasted more than ten years. In those years, they had been communicating by tapes. They told each other
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But I heard nothing of the sort”(Carver 134). The narrator was hoping for validation that would show the strength of his relationship with his wife to instill a sense of security. Although the narrator feels like him and Robert already met (Carver 133), he is still not comfortable with the intimate relationship that his wife entertains with Robert. Because of this, the narrator senses that Robert knows more about his wife than he does due to her and Robert being friends before he even met his actual wife: “She and I began going out, and of course she told her blind man about it.” (Carver