Raymond Carver Cathedral

Words: 1034
Pages: 5

“Cathedral”, written by American author Raymond Carver, is a story about a discontent husband and his encounter with a blind man that makes a visit to the husband’s home. Set some time during the 60’s or 70’s in a New York City home, the husband, who is also the narrator, first introduces to the reader the story of the blind man named Robert and his relationship with the narrator’s wife. The wife first met the blind man ten years prior to the story when she worked for him one summer by organizing his office and reading him case reports, books, newspapers, etc. Although her job was short-lived, she ended up keeping in touch with the blind man with the use of cassette tapes that they mailed each other every so often. Eventually, after the blind …show more content…
The narrator is initially very apathetic to the situation of the blind man and hardly shows any compassion in his thoughts. In his statement, “My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeingeye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to.”, the reader can see that the narrator hasn’t met a blind person before and instead generalizes all blind people based on what he has seen in movies. Although his wife is good friends with this blind man, she hardly ever speaks about him. This is identified in the statement, “But we were interrupted, a knock at the door, something, and we didn’t ever get back to the tape. Maybe it was just as well. I’d heard all I wanted to. Now this same blind man was coming over to sleep in my house”. The narrator states this after he and his wife are going to listen to one of the blind man’s tape about the narrator but they are interrupted by the door bell. He clearly doesn’t want to associate with the blind man nor does he care about what the blind man says in the tape. What annoys the narrator the most is that now this blind man that he hardly knows is going to come over and stay with him. However, the narrator does not keep this insensitive attitude throughout the course of the story. The most significant event in the story is the epiphany the narrator experiences and is used by Carver to express the theme of transition. This epiphany occurs when the narrator and the blind man draw the cathedral. The blind man asks the narrator to draw cathedral for him and he will follow his movement. As the narrator continues to draw, the blind man asks him to close his eyes. This little action finally helps the narrator help sympathize with the blind man and this is highlighted by the statement, “But I had my eyes closed. I