Cathedral Essay

Cathedral Essay
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    Dec 29, 2020
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In the short story Cathedral, Raymond Carver is telling a story about two different individuals. The main characters are a blind person Robert and a narrator with good sight. The way the narrator perceives Robert clearly demonstrates that the narrator is discriminating against him because of his blindness. The narrator thinks that blindness is the end of life, but Robert considers the narrator’s discrimination to be natural and a part of his own life.  Being blind, Robert continues to live and enjoy a normal life with his wife (Carver et al. 60). The given paper will prove that although the narrator has good sight, he does not enjoy life the way Robert and his wife do, undermines the blind populace, and cannot even see and explain the way the cathedral looks like. 

  1. What the short story “cathedral” is all about

The short story presents a comparison of two different individuals. It compares the life of a blind man Robert, and the life of a person with good sight. Notwithstanding that Robert is blind, he enjoys his life, while the narrator has sight, but does not even know how many pleasures life can bring. Having normal sight, the narrator is against blind people, although he does not understand the happiness that blind people have. The narrator is sorry for Robert’s wife just because she married a blind man not knowing why Robert’s wife decided to marry Robert (Carver et al. 61-62).

  1. In the short story “cathedral”, the cathedral is used to symbolize good things

Cathedral is used to symbolize good things (Carver et al. 63). Cathedral is a place of worship where good things happen. The blind man enjoys life, feels good, and even do not remember that he is blind. He accepts the state of things. His wife also had seen good things about Robert that made her love and marry him.

  • In the short story, Robert’s blindness is used literature to show that disability is not an inability

Blindness has been literary used to expound the saying ‘disability is not inability’. Notwithstanding that Robert is discriminated against, his blindness does not interfere with his life. It does not prevent him from living his life the way he wants (Carver et al. 64). Due to his poor sight, Robert does not know how the cathedral looks like but is able to think about it and feel happy.

  1. In the short story, Robert’s blindness is used metaphorically to symbolize the things somebody might not be aware of

Robert’s blindness is used metaphorically to symbolize things that one might not be aware of. For instance, although the narrator can see, he does not see anything good in life (Carver et al. 64-65). Although Robert is not able to see the cathedral, he can imagine it and conclude that it is a good place. The use of symbolism attracts the attention of many readers.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion can be made that the cathedral is a symbol of everything good in life, which you may see or not (Carver et al. 66-67). The author also uses blindness to show that not all that you see is good in life. Notwithstanding that the narrator is absolutely healthy, he does not see how wonderful life is, while visually disabled Robert enjoys his life as much as he wants.

Work Cited:

Carver Raymond, Bruce Schwartz, Ally Beasley, James Eckhouse, Mark Rolston, and Tess Gallagher. Cathedral. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences in association with Heinle Pub, 2002. 60- 67. Print.