Cathedral: Raymond Carver

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For some people, the lack of emotional understanding is a greater handicap than that of a person who lacks sight or hearing. “Cathedral”, by Raymond Carver, provides an excellent and appropriate scenario to prove that the disabled can help a physically healthy person overcome, or at least discover, their inner impediment. Blindness in the most literal sense means lack of sight, but why do people assume this is only a physical ailment? Why is it assumed that physical blindness is more of a handicap than someone who is blind to his or her own ignorance and insecurities? Robert, the blind friend of Carver’s wife, adopts the literal role of blindness whereas the figurative role of blindness is assumed by the narrator because of his inability to seek and accept people who are different. Literal blindness is considered by most as a major set back for a normal life and a burden for those around them who must acquire a large amount of patience and compassion. Robert, however, seems to have accepted his abnormality. He jokes about his having two different types of televisions and states “but if I turn the TV on, and I’m always turning it on, I turn on the color set. It’s funny, don’t you think?”(727). He proves that even without sight, he is still able to enjoy a show like any other person would. Finding out how accepting he is with this would bring light to any reader into how she might be currently living her own lift, turning a light onto how she has viewed all her “problems” and showing her that things can always be worse. How easily he jokes about this gift and curse he has been given is reassuring to the humor of humanity. Curse because of the obvious lack of ever seeing the beauty nature provides, yet a blessing because of the ability to appreciate inner beauty. Physical blindness is a burden, but Carver proves inner blindness certain to be more detrimental to

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