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Raymond Carvers Cathedral - Essay Example

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The author manages to transpose the readers to a different kind of world where the sixth sense reigns supreme. It is a world in which the narrator discovers that for the…
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Raymond Carvers Cathedral
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The Cathedral by Carver Raymond Introduction Raymond Carver’s Cathedral is a moving story from his anthology of short stories bearing the same title. The author manages to transpose the readers to a different kind of world where the sixth sense reigns supreme. It is a world in which the narrator discovers that for the first time, he is able to conquer the limitations of his eyesight and can clearly ‘see’ without using his eyes. This opens him to a different kind of reasoning in which he for the first time is able to conquer his prejudice over other persons like the blind man whom he had labeled helpless and plain and was even dreading their meeting following his wife’s insistence after a short interaction which opens an entirely new state of affairs in his life.
The foregrounding of seeing over looking is the author’s centre of focus. This is well demonstrated through a juxtaposition of the two related but substantively dissimilar ways of ascertaining and acquiring knowledge and insight into different phenomena. Literally, the hosts who are composed of the narrator and his wife are able to see as they have fully functional eyesight. Their guest for the night who is called Robert on the other hand is a blind widower fresh from the mourning of his wife Beulah who passed away after suffering from bouts of cancer. It is through the dynamism of the narrator that the author successfully manages to bring out the distinction between seeing and looking.
The narrator clearly portrays the picture of a person with eyes but ironically cannot see. He initially uses his ability to see as a special attribute that makes him more important than the blind guest they expect to host for the night. According to Carver’s Cathedral, the narrator quickly sums up the pitiable look of Robert asserting how peculiar his eyes looked with glasses instead of shades. In his imagination, a woman married to him was like bondage to sorrow especially the thought of not being seen by a visually handicapped man.
However, with his fully functional sense of sight, the narrator is unable to describe the structure of a cathedral shown on the television to Robert with whom they are watching. It is then that Robert asks for a pen and a paper and asks him to draw what he was seeing as the blind man’s hands followed the movement of his own. He is later asked to try drawing with eyes closed which he ably does. On finishing, Robert asks him to open his eyes and look at the drawing but the narrator marvels at the artistic creation with his eyes closed exclaiming that he had never experienced the sight of things with shut eyelids.
Lastly, we see the narrator as a husband who lived his all matrimonial life with a wife he knew nothing about yet a blind man whom she worked with for ten years knew and understood her more than him. She kept many audiotapes of her conversations with Robert but her husband could not sustain a simple conversation with her as he lacked the skill of listening.
In conclusion, Carver successfully uses the characters in his text to demonstrate how distinct seeing and looking is. It is also through this that we see a complete character development of the narrator from a biased and indifferent person to an appreciative and exposed individual.
Work cited
Carver Raymond. Cathedral. New York: Vintage; Reissue edition .1989.Print Read More
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