Raymond Carver's "Cathedral. "

Essay by dahanahaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2003

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The Cathedral Acceptance through understanding

The story Cathedral by Raymond Carver displays one mans new found understanding and acceptance of a blind man over a relatively short period of time. The narrator represents the storys dominant theme of overcoming fear and prejudice of the blind through personal experience as well as mutual respect. The narrator who remains nameless throughout the play holds deeply unfounded beliefs and stereotypes of what a blind person should be, yet through various stages of transformation he develops a bond with Robert, whom at first he privately mocked and feared. The narrator is ill at ease with the idea of having a blind man in his home, yet through various stages of transformation he quickly begins to warm t o Robert as a person not just a blind man. When the narrators stereotypes of the blind are discredited he reaches his first stage of transformation, this allows him to progress to his second stage with the realization that Robert is a capable human being.

The final two stages come when the narrator allows his mind to let go of all of its prejudices and allow himself to empathizes and understand Robert through his handicap.

The first stage of transformation for the narrator is that his preconceived notions about blind people are proved false when he meets Robert for the first time. The narrator is not looking forward to having a blind man stay at his house (Carver448). Yet once Robert arrives at his home he is shocked that he does not conform to his idea of the blind. When Robert gets out of the car himself without any help this really goes against the narrators ideas of a slow moving blind man (Carver450). The narrator now begins to question his image of a blind person. The...