Lessons Learned. Comparing Raymond Carver's "The Catherdal" and "The Lesson".

Essay by TwilightChick18University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2006

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At first glance, "The Cathedral" and "The Lesson" seem to have nothing in common, but the characters in these stories are both finding their identity and discovering themselves for the first time. Both of these characters seem very stubborn and hardheaded, but somebody finally gets through to them and their lives are changed forever.

The story by Raymond Carver, "The Cathedral" is about a man overcoming his prejudice and accepting a blind man as a capable person like himself. The narrarator has very stereotypical beliefs of what a blind person should be like. When his wife tells him that her blind friend, Robert is coming to visit them he is not pleased at all. "My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to".

(Carver) The narrarator is very surprised after he notices that Robert doesn't use a cane or wear sunglasses. Robert is capable of feeding himself and doing everything without other peoples help. He is very independent and the total opposite of what the narrarator thought a blind person should be. This really shocks the narrarator because he expected him to be a huge burden.

The nararator seems like a lonely man that is somewhat depressed and close-minded. After dinner the nararator and Robert finally have alone time to get to know each other. The narrator tells Robert about the Cathedral that is being shown on television. This makes Robert question the narrator about what the Cathedral looks like. The narrator doesn't know of how to go about describing what the cathedral looks like since he just doesn't understand the importance of it, so Robert asks him to...