Examine how the protagonist in Raymond Carver's Cathedral overcomes his prejudices - Essay Example

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The cathedral is a story about a blind man who visits a woman friend, married to another man. The protagonist, in this case, is the narrator himself. This story reveals the lives of two blind men, one physically and the other one symbolically blind. …
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Examine how the protagonist in Raymond Carvers Cathedral overcomes his prejudices
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"Examine how the protagonist in Raymond Carver's Cathedral overcomes his prejudices"

The character portrays himself, on the first part, as one who looks at people and the world in uncritical and rash manner. However, despite his naivete, he is not completely resigned to viewing the world that way. We watch him evolve from the arrival of the blind man to the end of the story. The most conspicuous misconception was of the blind man. The narrator continuously and contemptuously refers to his wife’s friend as the blind man. This suggests something unworthy of existence and having no identity. He believes that, for being blind, his fellow is incapable of doing many things both physically and emotionally. The first part of the story shows preconceived image about the blind man. From what he had watched in television, he knew blind men as people who wore glasses, and walked with canes. When he gets to meet the blind man, he is sincerely surprised that the blind man has beards and talks with a loud voice. He is also fascinated that the blind man can drink and smoke. Besides that, he is surprised that the blind man could have a normal relationship despite his lack of sight. It expresses the inability of the husband to see the blind beyond his handicap. Another most vividly formed prejudice is on the relationships. The narrator is envious of the intimate relationship his wife shares with the blind man. He reports that the first time he met her wife, she told him of her encounters with the blind man. The wife proceeds to explain how Robert’s touch had a profound effect on her and how she tried to express that in a poem. Nine years before they met again, they had been exchanging tapes. The husband is further traumatized, when he witnesses the wife having a mutual and warm conversation with Robert. He is sad on the fact that he is never mentioned in the whole conversation. He thus thinks that he thinks he is worthless in his wife’s life. The narrator becomes insecure that his wife must be discreetly involved in the love life of the blind. Besides that, he misunderstands Robert’s marriage with his late wife. He wonders how he would have managed the relationship without his sight. He muses how Beaulah had survived without complements for the rest of her marriage. It points to his belief that Beaulah could not have enjoyed a fulfilling affair with a sightless man. However, this is contrary to the fact that they both enjoyed a satisfying link. The nature of the relationship, which they enjoy intrinsically, remains beyond the husband’s conceptualization. In addition to relationship issues, the writer also disregards religion. He dismisses religion when Robert asks him about his religious status. He seems to believe religion is insignificant in a modern man’s life. The word cathedral denotes religion in the story. When he is asked, about how a cathedral looks like, he becomes obscured about his explanation. He, additionally, cannot draw the picture of the cathedral. He finally gives up and says he does not understand the meaning of cathedral. This is a clear indication of a loophole in the concept of religion (Lohafer 78). As said earlier, the protagonist undergoes evolution of conceptions and an overhaul of character. First, he experiences the feel of religion. When Robert and the husband switch on the television, they begin a dialogue, which expresses spiritual aspects, and it reveals the protagonist’s lack of recognition of religion. When the husband is told to explain what a Read More
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