The Visions of the Narrator in the Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Category: Disability, Fiction
Last Updated: 14 Nov 2022
Pages: 3 Views: 129

The narrator in Raymond Carvers Cathedral has two fully functional eyes, in which he chooses never to use to their full potential. They eyes of the narrator are insecure, jealous, lonely, and prejudiced. They are limited in what they choose to see. The tone of the narrator conveys his inability to see throughout the entire story. The narrators tone also reveals his character and personality. The first few pages of the story reveal the narrators blurred view of his own life, his wifes life, and the entire world around him. The reader is quick to discover that the narrator seems to have an unhappy and insecure outlook on life.

The narrators blurred view of everything that happened in his wifes life reveals the insecurity that plagues him. When referring to his wifes ex-husband he says, Her officerwhy should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, and what more does he want? (pg225). BY treating everyone the same and denying them importance, the narrator is trying to make himself seem more important in the lives of others. He simply calls his wifes first husband the officer or the man(pg224). His refusal to even use his wifes name while narrating as well as constantly referring to Robert as the blind man(pg224).

Shows he blocks the importance of people around him. The narrator chooses not to be like Robert at first because of his disability. The narrator is aggravated and insecure about the fact that his wife talks and writes that she allowed Robert to touch her face. She told me he touched his fingers to every part of her face, her noseeven her neck(pg224)! Because of the fact that his wife is so close to Robert, and is so happy in the event of his arrival, I saw my wife laughing(pg227), She was still wearing a smile(pg227P, is makes it easier for him to judge Robert according to his disability. The reader first learns of the narrators prejudices toward Roberts blindness at the beginning of the story. H feels uncomfortable around Robert due to his disability. And his being blind bothered me. My idea of blindness came from movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed.

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A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to(pg224). He feels the need to make fun of Roberts disability in a degrading manner in order to make it easier for himself. Maybe | could take him bowling (pg225). Knowing Robert cannot see, he decided to talk about the scenic ride along the Hudson. He asks Robert which side of the train did you sit on, by the way.(pg 227). When the conversation was not focused on him, he decided to turn on the TV, with no regard for the fact his guest could not see it. The narrator also assumes that because Robert is blind, he must fit the blind stereotypes. The narrator is surprised to find that Robert does not wear dark glasses, does not use a cain or a seeing-eye dog, and knows how to smoke. The narrator is a lonely man, and seems to be in an unhappy marriage. This is as a result of his own blindness to others, and is reflected in his tone.

When the narrator makes a crack about taking Robert bowling, the narrators wife says If you love meyou can do this for me. If you dont love me, ok. His own limited vision of the world around him has made him distorted to even his own wife. His wife is constantly looking at him with irritation(pg229). The narrator feels his wife does not like him much, either. My wife finally took her eyes off the blind man and looked at me. I had the feeling she didnt like what she saw.(pg227). The narrator is a lonely man as well as in an unhappy marriage. His wife even states, you dont have any friendsperiod (pg228). After he and Robert smoke some pot, he realizes he is glad for the company. And I guess I was. Every night I smoked dope and stayed up as long as I could before fell asleep. Despite his insecure, jealous, lonely, and prejudice vision, the narrator has an awakening at the end. It takes a blind man to make the narrator discover that he has not been using his eyes to their full potential. In the end, Roberts tone on life and the world around him takes on a new perspective. He is no long blind.

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The Visions of the Narrator in the Cathedral by Raymond Carver. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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