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Analytical Essay Of Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"

1077 words - 5 pages

Blindness can manifest itself in many ways. Arguably the most detrimental form of this condition may be the figurative blindness of one’s own situations and ignorance towards the feelings of others. In Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral," the narrator's emotional and psychological blindness is immediately apparent. The many issues faced by the narrator as well as the turn-around experienced at the culmination of the tale are the main ideas for the theme of this story; and these ideas aid the narrator in eventually succumbing to character transformation by simply regarding the literal blind man in a positive light.The narrator’s statement at the very beginning of the story ...view middle of the document...

His wife gives him an ultimatum for acceptance of the blind man, stating that if her husband loves her, he would “do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay.” (92) Throughout the story the narrator exudes jealousy toward the relationship his wife and the blind man share. Insecurity gives way to a troubled relationship with his wife. The narrator revaluates his suspicious ideas regarding the troubled relationship; and his ultimate personal transformation gives way to the foreshadowing of a profound epiphany surrounding the entire story.Drug and alcohol usage throughout the entire story significantly adds to another blindness of which the subject is oblivious. Once Robert arrives, he is immediately introduced to social drinking, especially when he is questioned for his choice of drink. The narrator quickly supports this inquiry by further explaining that he and his wife carry “a little of everything. It's one of our pastimes." (94) From this point on in the plot, drug and alcohol usage is described. The final enlightenment experienced by the narrator is a direct result of the mindset brought upon by his marijuana usage. In fact, many of his described problems may be attributed to his drinking and drug use. The effects of these habits are shown very well as the narrator and Robert converse directly after smoking a marijuana cigarette: "I reached for my glass. But it was empty. I tried to remember what I could remember." (98) This exact portion of the dialogue accurately describes that of someone who is under the influence of a foreign substance. Once presented, the negative effects of drug usage on the characters are obvious throughout the story.The story climaxes after the wife falls asleep and the two men are finally allowed to converse with each other. It is at this time when the narrator finally gets to see the attitude and thoughts of the blind man, leading directly to his own personal...

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