Cathedral Essay

1117 words - 4 pages

As a whole, America has lived through every aspect of prejudices and racism. Fortunately, as educated and open-minded people of the United States, we've taken the bad and turned it into an object to grow and learn upon. In Raymond Carver's short story, Cathedral, the narrator, here and after referred to as "˜Bub', allows his own prejudices to keep him from seeing the whole picture of his wife's blind friend.Carver's Cathedral boldly illustrates why people should not be prejudice. Throughout the story, Bub is overtaken by the thought of a blind man, Robert, in his house. His image of the man has been shaped by "movies [where] the blind moved slowly and never laughed" (163). As Bub and Robert bond, Bub realizes that Robert was as ordinary as any other man but without a working set of eyes. Upon the close of the story, Bub and Robert join-draw a cathedral by overlapping hands. Bub felt as if "it was like nothing else in [his] life" (172) where as before he uttered at the thought of a blind-man sleeping in his house. The Cathedral is a perfect example why prejudicism only prevents a person from growing instead of opening themselves to the life around them.Bub is a man of intense inner feelings and thoughts. Prior to engaging in conversation with Robert, Bub feels as if the conflict lies between himself and the blind man. "A blind man in [his] house was not something [he] look forward to" (163). The true conflict lies between Bub and himself for it is he who will not allow himself to open his mind and accept difference in other people. Although selfish at first, maintaining his only Hollywood image of a blind man, Bub finally overcomes his prejudice and accepts Robert for the caring man he is. The close of the story symbolizes that Bub has seen his ignorance. When Robert asks Bub if he sees the picture they blindly drew, he answers, "It's really something" (172) though "[his] eyes closed were still closed" (172).Carver's Cathedral incorporates three main characters throughout the story; the narrator, referred to as Bub in this paper, Bub's wife, and Robert, the blind man. Bub's wife and Robert are two equally caring people whom live a life without prejudice. Bub's wife met Robert through a newspaper add to read for a blind man. "They [became] good friends" (163) and "kept in touch"¦[making] tapes and mail[ing] them back and forth" (163). Though not directly supported in the story, it is evident that she easily saw past Robert's handicap"¦ never judging him as a blind man. Robert, on the other hand, is a caring elderly whom as lived a life of what most would consider sorrow. His handicap and recently passed away wife, Beulah, has yet to deter him from his caring personality. Robert is very personable, educated, and always "learning something"¦ [his] learning never ends" (169). Robert has a warm personality allowing people to bond with him easily. He is very passive and laid-back as suggested while watching TV with Bub, "it's...

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