Acceptance And Understanding In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Matthew Funkhouser English 102 16 October 2014 Acceptance and Understanding through a Change in Perspective We live in a world where pre-judgment, lack of understanding, and a lack of perspective are a normality. Every day as people, we pass unfair and unwarranted judgments against other people whom we get mere glimpses at. We judge people without understanding what they may be going through, and without seeing their lives from their perspective. The sad thing is, that a lot of people that we deem “terrible” are some of the nicest, and perhaps some of the wisest people we could ever meet. Situations like these have been depicted in numerous essays, short stories, etc. However, in my opinion, the story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver…show more content…
The story “Cathedral” starts out with an unnamed narrator explaining to the audience about an impending visit from his wife’s blind friend. At this early point in the story, the narrators tone and remarks like “Maybe I could take him bowling” (Carver 79) give off the impression that he does not understand what it means to be blind, and maybe shows a little disgust for the blind man whom he did not know personally. The narrator’s wife yells at him for the inappropriate comment, and goes on to explain to the narrator that the blind man just lost his wife Beulah, and once again, the narrator makes a snarky and inappropriate comment when he asked “Was his wife a Negro?” (Carver 80). Once again, the narrator doesn’t understand the situation, but continues to make judgment calls. Angry, the narrator’s wife berated him for the inappropriate comment, then went on to fill the narrator in on the blind man and Beulah’s story. The narrator’s wife went on to explain that Beulah took over her job the summer after she had worked for the blind man, and shortly…show more content…
Upon their arrival, the narrator’s wife introduces the blind man whose name is Robert to the narrator. Robert then proceeds to shake the narrator’s hand and the narrator reciprocated the gesture. After an exchanging of “welcoming” words, the narrator, his wife, and Robert proceeded to the living room. Upon entering the living room, the narrator examines Robert’s physical appearance and once again makes a judgment call this time based on stereotypical “facts” about blind people. The narrator said “But he didn’t use a cane and he didn’t wear dark glasses. I’d always thought dark glasses were a must for the blind” (Carver82). This proves that the narrator still doesn’t have an understanding of Robert’s situation, and that he still doesn’t know how to treat Robert. However despite his lack of understanding, the narrator does his best to make Robert feel comfortable by offering him a drink. Robert, the narrator and his wife, then sat down over drinks and had a conversation about Robert’s travelling until dinner was ready. Dinner was a relatively quick and quiet affair with the exception of a small prayer the narrator recited. After dinner, the narrator recalled a conversation between his wife and Robert, a conversation in which the narrator had very little to do with. Robert then starts asking the narrator about his personal life, and at this point

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