The Narrator In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Raymond Carver, a notable writer and contributor to American short stories in the 20th century, was the author of “Cathedral. ” In his short story “Cathedral,” Carver describes a night where a man and his wife are visited by his wife’s old friend Robert; although a blind man, he happens to be in the area visiting his newly deceased wife’s family. Throughout the night's events, the narrator (the husband) goes through a life changing event that changes the way he sees life and blind people due to the impact of being visited by Robert. Carver uses 1st person point of view to show the reader how the unnamed narrator goes from a habitual static character to a dynamic character that has a much-needed epiphany. The husband is a round and dynamic…show more content…
He sees blind people as anything but normal –“My idea of blindness came from the movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed (Carver 78)”. The narrator was also quick to judge about what a blind man was supposed to look like and do. He cannot believe Robert has a beard – “This blind man, feature this, he was wearing a full beard! A beard on a blind man (Carver 81)”! He was not looking forward to having someone who was blind in his house because he had never met one before and had no idea what to expect – “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to (Carver 78)”. The husband is always quick to judge others, even when he knows nothing about them, but quick not to turn on his self and be judgmental about his actions, including being confronted about them. When his wife gives him judgmental looks, he shrugs it off –“My wife finally took her eyes off the blind man and looked at me. I had the feeling she didn’t like what she saw. I shrugged (Carver 82).” Carver also shows the reader that the husband does not understand how Robert had a wife. He feels sorry for Beulah, Robert’s deceased wife, because he could never look at her as she needed to be seen by a loved one –, “And I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman…show more content…
The husband has jealously with other people, including his wife. By watching his wife and her reactions to Robert coming to visit, the narrator is jealous because she seems so happy and is beaming with joy that her friend has arrived – “I saw my wife laughing as she parked the car. I saw her get out of the car and shut the door. She was still wearing a smile (Carver 81).” The husband is also jealous about the fact that his wife is friends with a male, and shares stories with him about all the things in her life – “ They talked about things that happened to them – to them! – these past ten years. I waited in vain to hear my name on my wife’s sweet lips (Carver 83).” He is jealous because his wife does not mention him at all to Robert, and all they talk about is more of Robert. Even though the narrator seems like he has no good traits inside of him, he does have love for his wife. He respects his wife’s pleading to be nice to Robert and make him feel comfortable, even though it takes him awhile throughout the night to start acting right – “”If you love me,” she said, “you can do this for me. If you don’t love me, okay. But if you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable.” (Carver 80)”. By being civil and allowing himself to open up to Robert towards the end of the short story, he is showing that he does love his wife and is

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