Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Human Alteration and Persistence In the stories Cathedral and What We Talk about When We Talk about Love by Raymond Carver, the author describes two kinds of egoistic men who are narrator and Mel McGinnis. Because they are selfish, arrogant, and capricious, they canft see entire world around them. However the narratorfs limited view is cured by a blind man who is a friend of the narratorfs wife in the end of story. The narrator of "Cathedral" can experience a genuine resurrection because he is able to strip himself of all his cynical masks and affectations and experience true empathy while Mel McGinnis remains incorrigible in his egotism and is never able to remove his proud mask which represses his true humanity.

The narrator and Mel have some similarities which are stereotypical view and misunderstanding of people around them. In the eyes of the narrator, he sees Robert who is a friend of the narratorfs wife with stereotypical view.

Before he meets Robert, he says gMy idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moves slowly and never laughed. Sometime they were led by seeing-eye-dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward toh (P356). The narrator reacts strongly to trespasser on his personal space, he has prejudices to Robert and he doesnft see Robertfs individualities.

In the case of Mel, he defines stereotypically what love is. He says gyou know the kind of love Ifm taking about now. Physical love that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other personfs being, his or her essence, as it were. Canal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day-to-day caring about the other person.h(P176) Mel believes that true love contains two distinct kinds of love, the...