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Analysis of the Cathedral

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Analysis of The Cathedral

In the short story Cathedral by Raymond Carver, Carver uses the narrator's doubtful tone and 1st person point of view in order to portray how prejudice and bias is a result of false assumptions based on common stereotypes about the blind. The story ironically shows how the blind man, Robert, is readily open to new experiences and ideas while the narrator, a man who has all of his senses is largely limited by his ways of thinking. In a way, Carver forces the reader to infer that blindness isn’t always a result of physiology, but sometimes a result of one's ignorant perceptions. The narrator is blessed with the ability to see, however, he learns by the end of the story that he will never be able to see through the eyes of a blind man.
The first few paragraphs of the story are essential because it quickly sets the mood for what the narrator's attitude and character will be like for a large portion of the story. Carver uses first person to display the narrator's feeling of bigotry and to ultimately show the change of feeling he has towards Robert by the end of the story. Carver’s first sentence of the story is already foretelling of the narrators bias towards the blind man. It reads, “This blind man, an old friend of my wife’s, he was on his way to spend the night. His wife had died.” By having to state that the man is blind, rather than just an old friend, the narrator is already revealing that he holds a prejudice against the blind. At the beginning of the story, the narrator is so fixated on the fact that Robert is blind, that he is unable to truly understand his character. He even goes as far as stating “A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward too.” The narrator bases that feeling off of illogical assumptions he’s made from the many movies he has watched with the blind in them. He says “In the movies, the blind moved...

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