Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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A theme is defined as an argument, insight, or general idea in a work. Places, objects, parties, literature, movies, and many other things have their own certain themes. In literature, themes can be explored by several options. An author may use symbols or specific characters to bring out a certain lesson or motif. In "Cathedral," Raymond Carver uses the personal growth of Bud to express his theme; through the character's ignorance, experiences, and eventual acceptance this theme becomes evident.

At the beginning of the story, Carver introduces Bub as a man who judges blind people based on stereotypical beliefs. His ideas of blind individuals came from movies. Bub states, "In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed…A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to" (331). He seems to not like the idea that his wife always sent him tapes about her life. All she wants her husband to do is make the blind man, Robert, comfortable and at home since he had just lost his own wife.

Bub also did not understand why Robert was not wearing any dark glasses. He always thought they were a must for the blind. Another misconception was that blind people do not smoke because they cannot see the smoke they exhaled. However, Robert smoked his cigarettes down to the bottom, and many of them too. Bub's ignorance shows through his thoughts also. While his wife tells the story of Robert and Beulah, his wife who just passed away, he cannot understand how a blind man can love a woman without ever once seeing her face. Why could a person just love someone for who they are in the inside and not what is on the outside? That is what Robert really saw, the inside. Bub's whole view...