Stereotypical Blindness In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Raymond Carver planted a message into the mind of his audience that imagination prevents stereotypical blindness. This message is important because Carver touched on a current problem that we face in our daily lives known as prejudice. This problem is caused by stereotype disease and the cure for it is imagination because people will be more sensitive to how others feel. In “Cathedral”, Carver showed how Bub, as a sighted person, was struggling with stereotypical blindness and Robert, as a blind person, was able to see with his heart and mind. The elements used to convey this message were characterization, plot, symbolism, and metaphor. The first element that Carver used was characterization. The three characters of “Cathedral” are Robert,…show more content…
The characters in this story are Bub, Robert, and Bub’s wife. The setting is in Connecticut and Seattle, Washington. Bub’s wife worked for Robert in Seattle and her main responsibility was to read to him. Robert went to Connecticut because he was visiting his deceased wife relatives. Robert and Bub’s wife made arrangements so Robert can come visit her and Bub. Bub’s house was the meeting spot for the three characters, but Carver didn’t mention the location of their house. The rising action is known as the conflict. The conflict was Bub versus Robert because he had a fear of seeing a blind person in his house. Bub didn’t want to be alone with Robert and preferred when his wife was present. Bub stated, "I didn't want to be left alone with a blind man" (Carver). This is significant because it shows Bub’s fear of having a friendship with Robert. Bub prejudged Robert based on what he had seen in movies and his false…show more content…
Carver used a cathedral as the main symbol in this story because it gave Bub the ability to see beyond the surface and find true meaning within his heart. It represents a place of worship for our souls to connect with God and have fellowship with other believers. Bub had a difficult time explaining the appearance of a cathedral because it didn’t mean anything to him. Robert questioned Bub about his faith. Bub replied, “I guess I don’t believe in it. In anything. Sometimes it’s hard” (Carver). Bub doesn’t have a belief system and this led to his spiritual blindness. However, drawing the cathedral gave Bub the opportunity to really think and map it out in his mind. Bub opened a spiritual door and he entered into a deep place in his mind which doesn’t require his eyes. The language Carver used was irony because he wanted to show readers that people with vision can be blinded by stereotypes and, conversely, a physically blind person can see things such as emotions. It’s clever how Carver presented Bub as the character who is experiencing blindness and distracted readers from feeling empathy for Robert’s condition. It’s ironic that a blind man learns about cathedrals-a real structure and in the process Bub learns how to see from within his mind-the place of imagination. For example, Bub reached an epiphany when he stated, "It's really something, I said" (Carver). This is significant because it’s a confirmation that Bub was able to imagine a

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