Impairment And Disability Essay

1399 words - 6 pages

The amount of words in the English language is massive. There are approximately one million words in the English language; this is roughly 9 times as much since the Shakespearean time. The vast amount of dictions gives greater opportunities for more descriptive sentences and better vivid images from novels. However, the growth of dictions in the English language can also causes problems, such as misuse of words. Many words in modern days have a very similar definition and are often misused. In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” the relationship between two similar words, impairment and disability, plays a very important role in the story. The slightest difference from the meaning from these two ...view middle of the document...

There are many factors that can further more affect the images of different impaired groups; some easy examples are the media that is presented through television or even advertisements that are presented on bill boards.
In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral,” there are three main characters: the narrator, the narrator’s wife, and a blind man named Robert. The story revolves around two men, both of them are blind, one is physically impaired, while the other one is completely ignorant. The narrator, who has only seen blind people in movies, believes that what he sees in movies are accurate representations of blind people in real life. The narrator is a perfectly healthy man, on the contrary, he have an ill-image on his wife’s friend, Robert. Everything that the narrator knows is either past his wife’s descriptions, Robert’s voice on tapes, and things that he have seen on televisions. The narrator could be seen as an ignorant person or even a narrow-minded person due to his judgments and assumptions he placed upon a blind man without even knowing him personally. Oppositely, Robert, the blind man, is physically impaired. Robert is a man who has been blind throughout his entire life. He doesn’t have the ability to literally see things with his own eyes but he turns out to be something completely different than what the narrator had expected. As the story develops, the narrator realized that the images he had placed upon the blind are all merely delusions. Constantly throughout the night, the narrator’s vision unfold, he begins to slowly understand that reality is entirely different than what he has always thought of them to be. It is as if the narrator is the one who was actually blind and gained vision through a help of a man who has sight impairment.
This is where the significance of the word disability and the word impairment really surfaced. What the narrator has placed upon Robert is a disability, what Robert actually has is the impairment. The narrator thought that blind people does not smoke, nor know where food are on the plates, and even thought that they always wear sun glasses; these are all assumptions and what the narrator thought to be norms for blind people. In truth, the narrator is just as blind, none of his assumptions actually matches the blind man’s action and appearance. The narrator has never experience or been put in a shoe of a blind person, he does not understand nor have ever considered what it would be like to be blind. The whole story is told through the narrator’s eyes, and he has never once thought about what it would be like to have sight impairments. He believes that being blind is one of the worse things that can happen and that Robert is a really unfortunate guy. Through thought provoking questions from Robert, the narrator experiences the moment of realization and wonder for the first time how he would describe what a cathedral is to a blind person. The narrator became confuse as he cannot complete the basic tasks...

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