A Whole New World Essay

1032 words - 4 pages

There are many people in this world who take human contact for granted. Many don't understand how important it is in learning and developing into a human being. If everyone were to isolate themselves from individuals around them, it would create many problems and the world wouldn't be a friendly place. As the reader sees in Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral," the narrator develops this particular theme about how salvation lies in human contact and connection. His uses of the particular character action as well as their attitude throughout the story help to develop this major theme.Before the narrator and Robert, the blind man, ever meet, the reader can see their difference in manners and ways of viewing the world. Before the narrator met his wife, she was hired by Robert to read for him. After much contact and spending of time with each other, a long lasting friendship between the two of them developed and they became very close. On the last day of work, before the narrator's wife left to leave, Robert asked her if he could "touch her face." This one little action presented in the story, however very important because it illustrated key characteristics of Robert and the narrator's wife. First, the reader can see how important this was to the wife because she wrote poems about this experience after it happened. Also, this particular action of Robert showed the reader of his desire to learn more about the world about him. He wanted to gasp every detail that he could out of life.The narrator's nature is revealed to be quite the opposite Robert's. First of all, the narrator was very close-minded. He lives a very isolated life and his wife even stated that he didn't have "any friends, Period." He takes a lot for granted. Instead of thinking of Robert as a human being, he sees him as a handicap and makes a point to address him as the "blind man" in a "matter of factly tone" of voice. He doesn't see him as a good friend of his wife whom he would like to get to know more and make feel comfortable, which is what he should be feeling. I thought it was rather sad how his attitude towards Robert is during the beginning of the story. For example, he makes a heartless remark about how he's going to take Robert bowling. That was a very caustic remark to make considering Roberts situation. It is also obvious that Robert knew something about the Narrator from the tapes he received from the wife, whereas the narrator never made any effort to find out much about Robert. When they first met, even though Robert couldn't see the narrator, he could probably sense his feeling of uncomfortable ness, so he tried to put the narrator at ease by saying "I feel like we've already met." However, the narrator pointed out how he didn't have anything to say to that. He was obviously reluctant to learn or even understand about Robert and his handicap.When I was reading this story, I must admit that I gave up...

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