The Theme Of Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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In his short story “Cathedral” Raymond Carver challenges the conventional ideas often associated with blindness and sight. The irony in this story is that it takes a blind man to make a seeing man see. Most stereotypes tend to make us feel superior in some way to the person or group being stereotyped. Stereotypes ignore the uniqueness of individuals by painting all members of a group with the same brush. All of us have prejudices about members of groups different from ourselves. “Cathedral” is a story about a man who is meeting his wife’s blind friend, Robert, for the first time. At the beginning of the story the man does not want anything to do with a blind man. He says, “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to.”(Norton Anthology of American Literature; Carver, Raymond: Cathedral page 2733) He constantly refers to his wife’s friend as the blind man, making it clear that he can not see him as a human being, he only sees him as a blind person. "He was no one I knew. And his being blind…show more content…
“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.” Hearing this I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one. A woman who could go on day after day and never receive the smallest compliment from her beloved.” (p. 2735) Although the narrator believes that he is describing the relationship he imagines existed between the blind man and his wife the reader knows that the description more accurately describes the relationship between the narrator and his wife. The narrator is blind to his own human
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