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Raymond Carver's "Cathedral".

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Candie Garrett ENG101 R53 Final Essay 4 03/19/2004 Cathedral Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" is a story of a husband who underwent a change in opinion of a blind man who had a lasting friendship with his wife. As the story began, the protagonist seemed to be a man who rejected that which he did not understand. He did not understand blindness, and he did not understand the relationship between his wife and the blind man, Robert. As a result, he was judgmental and close-minded: "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me. [...]A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to" (20). His judgments were just a reaction to his lack of understanding. ...read more.


His lack of sensitivity was merely a display of his jealousy and rejection to her friendship. More obvious than his resentment was his uneasiness of the fact that Robert was blind. Before Robert arrived, the husband was outward with his rudeness by telling his wife, "Maybe I could take him bowling" (22). The thought of Robert actually married to a woman was quite conflicting for the husband: And then, I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one. [...] She could, if she wanted, wear green eye-shadow around one eye, a straight pin in her nostril, [...] no matter. ...read more.


When the husband could not do justice to a verbal description of a cathedral, Robert persuaded him to describe it on paper. With Robert's hand following his, not only did he describe the cathedral, but he also underwent a sense of enthrallment similar to that of his wife's previous experience. Finishing the last of the masterpiece with his eyes closed, Robert asked him what he thought of the picture they had drawn. 'Well?' he said. 'Are you looking?' My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn't feel like I was inside anything. 'It's really something,' I said. (33) He experienced the same fascination that his wife did upon meeting Robert. In the blink of an eye, he understood Robert, and ,perhaps more importantly, he understood a perspective of all blind people. This profound impression changed the husband from a close-minded stereo typist into an enlightened artist. 2 ...read more.

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