Cathedral: Blindness Of The Non Blind Essay

1512 words - 6 pages

Prejudice is an issue that is present in communities around the world due to diversity in race, religion, sexual orientation, lifestyles and physical disabilities of others as well. However, sometimes it just takes a life changing moment for one to realize that he or she should not discriminate against others just because of their appearance or beliefs. In the story “Cathedral”, author Raymond Carver writes about a man who is prejudging towards his wife’s blind friend, Robert, who will be visiting the couple. At first the narrator, or “Bub” as Robert nicknamed him, does not like the idea of Robert staying there because he is blind. Once Robert arrives, “Bub” does not really make an effort to get along with him; they had dinner together and watched television, but still did not have much of a conversation. Towards the end of the story, both Robert and “Bub”, cooperate to sketch a cathedral which turned out to be something more meaningful to the narrator. Through the help of Robert, the man was able to see things from a blind man’s perspective while realizing what one lacks physically, can be made up in other ways. In Carver's story, "Cathedral", the narrator has a change in perspective from one that is discriminatory towards those who are blind to one that is not only tolerant, but accepting of those who are not able to see, which is significant in understanding the theme that prejudice is a form of blindness.
In the beginning of the story “Cathedral”, the narrator is unhappy that Robert will be coming to visit him and his wife because he discriminates those who are blind. Before Robert comes over, the narrator admits that Robert “being blind bothered him” and that his “idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed” (115). His perception of blind people shows that the narrator does not consider those who are blind to be normal. By saying that his idea of blind people came from the movies shows that he probably has not had any real life encounters with a person who is blind, therefore the only idea he has of blind people are the kind that are portrayed in movies. However, by saying that blind people “never laugh” and “move slowly” makes them seem dysfunctional as human beings. Blind people cannot see, but that does not correlate to how quickly they move. By saying that blind people move slowly, that indicates that they are “disabled” and not able to keep up at the same pace as others. Not only is the fact that the narrators perception of those who are blind awkward, but it makes it seem as if the blind have their own stereotypes—which is the foundation of discrimination and prejudice.
Throughout the middle of the story, the narrator is discriminatory towards blind people but suddenly feels the need to make Robert feel comfortable just because it will please his wife. The narrator and his wife were in the kitchen talking, and then the wife says “If you love me, you can do this for me. If you...

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