In the story cathedral by Raymond Carver, the author who is also the persona introduces a blind man who is an old friend of his wife (Schneider par 1). He revealed how the old man met his wife some years back. Being the persona in the story, he unfolds how the blind man met his lovely wife and how she died of cancer later. The persona felt unease with the blind man since he could not understand some of the things the man would do like smoking and not wearing dark glasses (Carver 187). He also felt uncomfortable with his wife’s relationship with the blind man and experienced a lot of discontent in the discussion. Meanwhile, the persona has used his skills to develop themes and symbols that have substantially created the plot of his story. Being the protagonist in the story, he deliberately engages the audience in his narration as he exposes human transformation.
It is against this background that this essay explores the character traits of Carver as a person of partial understanding who is ignorant to approach reality by his aptitude to socialize with the blind man. Besides, the essay offers a personal reflection and experience on the entire take from the story. To begin with, it is imperative to note that Carver’s work evokes a feeling of envy and pity in the character of the blind man.
The narrator reveals how the blind man’s wife died of cancer yet he never look at her because he could not see. He reveals that the blind man could not understand the TV show and at times Caver was forced to explain it to him. However, this blind man is envied by the persona for his exact outlook of the world than those with sight (Carver 191). The persona is dumbfounded by the kind of liaison the blind man has with his wife. In the phrase” When we first started going out together, she showed me the poem” (Carver 188), indicates that he did not like the relationship at all He is amazed that, though the man is blind he is far exposed beyond the blind world and, like learning new thing as they surface.
In the phrase “I’m always learning something. Learning never ends. It won’t hurt me to learn something tonight. I got ears,” (Carver 193). I get enlightened by the way the blind man appears sharp and optimistic to life’s issues. He seemed not ignorant of emerging issues since he was ready to learn by himself.
The narrator opted to dislike the coming of the blind man into his house yet, he never new that he was canopied by his own ignorance. In the quote, “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 186), it is evident that he was agitated by the blind man’s visit in his house.
In the first place, he new less about the man and he judged him from his previous experience of a blind man from a movie (Carver 186). Out of his ignorance, he thought that blind men wore black glasses and that they did not smoke (Carver 190). In my opinion, I do not identify with such a character that holds things with ignorance. Instead, it is wise to be of open minded in order to discover more of what we know and not judge things by their appearance.
Additionally, one should not be envious when proved ignorant in some issues. My impression has been positively transformed from being pessimistic about other people’s disabilities. I felt the need to be sensitive to new issues in order to wipe away ignorance of past experiences. Moreover, I should not look down upon people by their look without a clear evaluation of their potential. There before, I read the story of ‘A doll house’ by Henrik Ibsen and it reflects to the story “Cathedral” in the fact that, there are characters that are ignorant on issues adjoining them. For example in “A doll house”, Torvald was ignorant of his wife naivety only to realize later that she was playing on him. The same happened to the persona in the story of “Cathedral” where the persona is proved wrong of his ignorance about the blind man. The similarity between the two stories is that both the authors are the personas in the plots.
The difference arises where “A doll house” is a play while “Carver” is a short story. In summing up, it is vital to reiterate the fact that the author managed to develop his plot well by creating themes depicting the nature of modern society. These include ignorance, religion and diversity of beliefs. He also used symbolism in his work hence emerged creative.
Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. New York: Random House. 2009. Print. Schneider, Dan. Cathedral by Raymond Carver.
2005. 23 Aug. 2011. Web