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Raymond Carver's Cathedral Essay

1392 words - 6 pages

The husband in Raymond Carvers “Cathedral” wasn’t enthusiastic about his wife’s old friend, whom was a blind man coming over to spend the night with them. His wife had kept in touch with the blind man since she worked for him in Seattle years ago. He didn’t know the blind man; he only heard tapes and stories about him. The man being blind bothered him, “My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to. (Carver 137)” The husband doesn’t suspect his ideas of blind people to be anything else. The husband is already judging what the blind man will be like without even getting to actually know him. It seems he has judged too soon as his ideas of the blind man change and he gets a better understanding of not only the blind man, but his self as well.
At first, the husband has an attitude that he doesn’t care about this blind man that’s friends with his wife. Then it almost seems like his uncaring attitude turns into somewhat of a jealousy about the blind man as his wife is always talking about him, and showing her husband the tapes they recorded that got sent back and forth to one another. When the husband and wife were talking to each other about the blind man’s life, the husband responds to his wife with now an almost jealous attitude. The blind man lost his wife as she had just passed away, and he talks about her name Beulah thinking, “Beulah’s a good name for a colored woman. (Carver 139)” He then asks his wife “Was his wife Negro? (Carver 139)” His wife started getting upset as he didn’t seem to care or try to understand and asked, “Are you crazy? (Carver 139)” She went on to explain a little more about the blind man and his wife’s lives together and the husband began to think, “They’d married, lived and worked together, slept together-had sex, sure-and then the blind man had to bury her. All this without his having ever seen what the goddamned woman looked like. It was beyond my understanding. (Carver 139)” The husband then started to think about the how he was starting to feel sorry for the blind man, and even more so the blind man’s wife. He thought of how sad of a life it must be for her having a husband that, “who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from her beloved; a woman whose husband could never see the expression on her face. (Carver 139)”
The time came when the husband’s wife had to pick the blind man up from the depot as the husband stayed home. The husband was at home having a drink as he heard them pull into the driveway. The husband noticed his wife laughing and smiling with the blind ban which was amazing to him. So he finished his drink and walked to the door. His wife introduced them telling her husband the blind man’s name is Robert. The blind man had set down his suitcase and shook his hand saying, “I feel like we’ve already met, (Carver...

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