The Symbolism Of The Narrator In Raymond Carver's Cathedral

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Oliphant1 Brittany Oliphant English 131 Ms. Lambright 23 Oct. 2012 Cathedral In the short story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the author introduces three different characters: the narrator, the narrator’s wife, and a blind man named Robert. Throughout the short story, there is tension between the narrator and his wife and Robert. The narrator is jealous of Robert and is very uncomfortable with a blind man staying the night in his home. (Carver 2368) Robert is able to get through to the narrator when they sit down together and draw a picture of a cathedral. Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes and draw while he puts his hand over the narrator’s, following the movement of the pen. Once they are done drawing, the narrator’s eyes remain shut. (Carver 2378) Drawing a cathedral with Robert with his eyes closed allows the…show more content…
It gave the two the time to talk about something without tens ion between the two and it gave sight to the blind, being the narrator in this case. The cathedral fit a description of everything that the narrator was not and everything Robert is. Although the cathedral is the subject of their conversation, they fail to realize that is has deeper meaning than just that. (Carver 2374) It is what reaches the narrator and shows him what he had needed to see all his life. The combing of their hand and closing of the eyes was Roberts’s way of showing the narrator what he sees within the cathedral even though he is blind. He is allowing him to take a quick walk in his shoes. “But I had my eyes closed. I thought I'd keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do.” (Carver 2378) When he is told to open his eyes, the narrator doesn’t want to because he is amazed at learning that seeing is more than a visual experience, it’s seeing with your mind and heart as well. The cathedral served as a metaphor in the reading. (Carver

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