After interacting with Robert, his wife's friend, his outlook begins to change significantly. Although the title suggests that the story is about a cathedral, it is really about two men who are blind, one physically, the other psychologically. Three very particular and determined people in their own way. Taken from his collection of the same name the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed man and from the beginning of the story the reader realises how detached the narrator is. There's a wicked humor in the way he talks.
But once that problem solves itself, the symptoms of the deeper helplessness hit, and are expressed through the metaphor of the titular fever. Soon they have a big dinner and seem to enjoy eating together. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website! He married a year after finishing and supported his wife and two children by working as a janitor, gas-station attendant, and delivery man. He has abandoned his self-consciousness and his judgment of Robert. It's a voice worth reading aloud, especially when one notices that the glibness is noticeably absent from the final pages. The man, who seems to be a direct portrayal of Raymond Carver himself, shows his ignorance by stereotyping a blind man by the name of Robert, who has come to stay with he and his wife. It brings up the question, who is truly blind in the story.
When they arrive, he watches his wife laughing and talking with the blind man as she leads him by the arm to the house. It is as if the narrator prefers to be ignorant of what Robert might think of him, rather than hearing something that he may dislike. While his wife is upstairs, the narrator invites Robert to smoke marijuana with him. We are given the choice of finding out more of said idea or choosing to remain as is. . Some scholars see minimalism, with its characteristic terse style and melancholy subjects, as a response to the psychological trauma of the Vietnam War. Until that moment, in my laxity, I hadn't even considered the many aspects and values a family should consist of.
On it, he heard his own name spoken, a strange experience. By juxtaposing his two male characters, Carver is able to effectively explore sight and its seemingly simplistic relationship with learning and knowledge. And his being blind bothered me. He wishes Robert would wear them because his eyes look weird and turn in strange directions. And his attitude about Beulah is harshly insensitive. It is not to say that we should go out and have affairs behind our loved ones, but we should make personal connections with others to help us grow intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. In the short story, Robert suggests to the narrator to work together on drawing a cathedral to better illustrate it.
At the beginning, the reader can perceive more than the narrator Bub can. The narrator further denigrates the blind man by considering how dreadful it must have been for Beulah not to have been seen by the man she loved. He became seriously interested in a writing career after taking a creative-writing course at Chico State College now , Chico in 1958. When Robert arrives, however, the narrator begins to warm up to the man he had previously thought very little of. They all sit in the living room. He learns that Robert and Beulah had run an Amway distributorship and that Robert is a ham radio operator.
After dinner, all are stuffed. The narrator is the main character, which the story revolves around. Symbolically the Cathedral that the narrator draws is also significant. It is the final story in Carver's collection 1983. Regardless of the fact that this blind man is his wife 's long time friend, the narrator cannot find himself comfortable with such an idea because of his extreme prejudices. It also shows which character the male or female is more determined to keep the relationship alive and burning.
The next morning, he awakes from a dream of a pastoral landscape, and gets breakfast ready for the kids. This sense of equality between the narrator and Robert is explored near the end of the story. It is in this moment, the husband realizes that it was he that was blind, blind in knowing people for who they are and not for their disabilities. After eight years of marriage, Beulah was diagnosed with cancer and died. The man goes into a depression after his wife, Madame Lantin, dies from pneumonia. To understand the narrator, it is helpful to analyze the masterful first-person voice of the story. He says that on the last day of her job there, the blind man touched her face and she wrote a poem about the experience.
The two story lines relate as the two main characters view the stereotyped groups of people negatively. Robert asks him to try to describe a cathedral for him, because he can't picture one. His stories often ended abruptly, leaving the reader with a number of unanswered questions. In the short story, Cathedral, by Raymond Carver, the author uses imagery, symbolism and narrates the story in first person point of view. In order for this to occur once must overcome what they feel is out of the ordinary and learn to accept things as they are. After some light conversation, they eat dinner and the husband is impressed with how Robert can identify the food on his plate.
The act of being blind can set limitations on the human mind, thus causing their perception of reality to dramatically change in ways that can cause fear, personal insecurities, and eternal isolation. In Cathedral by Raymond Carver we have the theme of jealousy, insecurity, isolation, detachment and connection. Through all those years she sent Robert tapes and told him all about her life. As well, he addresses the barriers imposed by the human tendency to rely on vision as the sole means of experiencing the world. The story, with no surprise, has a zero ending so it is unclear whether or not she decides to get an abortion, but it ends with the couple still awkwardly debating with short responses. The final enlightenment experienced by the narrator is a direct result of the mindset brought upon by his marijuana usage. Unhappy with her life, she tried to commit suicide one night by swallowing pills, but she survived.