Free Essay

Rebel with a Cause

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jmaroosis
Words 1285
Pages 6
The Blind Leading the Blind It is a biological fact that the eyes are merely receptors for visual stimuli; the brain is where the real work is done. There are some fun experiments that prove this fact.

The “vase or face” image and the “Hermann grid illusion” are two examples (Eye tricks).
Did you see the vase or face first? Those dots seemingly flashing across a grid of black squares make my head spin. These simple experiments suggest that what we see is more, or less, than meets the eye. Interpretation of visual stimuli happens automatically for most. Just point your eyes in the direction of what you want to see and the image instantaneously appears. The inner, invisible, intangible characteristics require more than receptors and neurons to visualize. Thought and personal investment are required in the visualization of the intangible. In “Cathedral”, Raymond Carver suggests blindness is often an affliction of the heart and soul and not the eyes. Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” is a short story about a husband’s journey to enlightenment. A longtime friend of the wife comes to visit after the death of his wife. The wife meets the blind man, Robert, ten years prior while looking for a summer job. She becomes his assistant. The wife reads briefs, reports, and helps organize the blind man’s office. Over the years the wife and blind man keep in touch; corresponding by sending audio tapes through the mail (Carver). The visit from the blind man is not something the husband is excited about. He remains disconnected from the conversation most of the evening. When the wife falls to sleep, the husband is forced to engage with the blind man. With the persistence of the blind man, the husband engages in a conversation about cathedrals. It is through the process of describing the cathedrals to the blind man that the life of the husband is forever changed (Carver). As the narrator, the husband describes the events of the evening in retrospect. Character flaws of the husband spew off the page as he recants the events of the evening. He is a dislikable character that is disconnected from life and his wife. Tangible characteristics are all he can see: never engaging his heart and soul. Heartless stereotypes form the husband’s opinions. The expectation of the blind man to “move slowly and never laugh” admittedly comes from the movies (Carter 1111). Thoughtless assumptions about the blind man are quickly proven incorrect revealing who the true blind man is in “Cathedral”. Peering through the window scoping out the blind man, the first sight is not what he expected. The blind man is laughing with his wife. The wife continues to laugh as she walks the blind man into the house and is “beaming” as she is introducing the blind man to her husband (Carter 1114). This is all “amazing” to the husband, he doesn’t understand what his wife “sees” in the blind man (Carter 1114). Instead of trying to get to know the blind man, the husband focuses on the blind man’s “creepy” eyes and beard (Carter 1114). The husband’s lack of depth and understanding is apparent with his sarcastic tone and disconnect: he can’t see past the man’s obvious blindness. Turning a blind eye to the deep bond shared between his wife and the blind man has gone on for years. The husband doesn’t take interest in the things that his wife enjoys. The wife’s “main forms of recreation” are her poetry and sending audio tapes to the blind man (Carter 1112). The husband doesn’t acknowledge the friendship between the blind man and his wife. Never taking the time to listen to a single tape that his wife sent to the blind man, the husband prefers to stay in the dark. Living in physical darkness is something the blind man has come accustom to. He has adapted to his limitations. Even drawing “admiration” from the husband with the way he navigates his dinner plate (Carver 1115). The blind man’s vulnerability gives him an endearing quality. He is warm and approachable. Friendships come easy to the blind man. As a ham radio operator the blind man has made friends with people from all over the globe (Carter 1116). The humility of the blind man leaves his heart open to people. Placing the ad “Help Wanted- Reading to Blind Man” begins an enduring friendship of the blind man and the wife (Carver 1111). Bonding with the wife over the summer as they work together comes natural to the blind man. As the relationship grows over the summer, so does the visualization of the wife in the mind of the blind man. On her last day the blind man asks if he can touch her face; building the outer tangible shell to encase the person he knows her to be. The experience of the blind man“[touching] his fingers to every part of her face, her nose-even her neck,” is unforgettable for the wife (Carver 1111). The moment is so moving the wife writes a poem describing how this makes her feel. She uses the poetry to express her thoughts as the blind man touches her nose and lips (Carver 1112). At that moment setting all pride aside the wife becomes vulnerable, allowing the blind man to build his image of her. Building an image proves difficult for the husband. Trying to explain the tangible to the blind man teaches the husband how to “see”. As the two men watch and listen to a program describing cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the husband feels obligated to describe the physical characteristics to the blind man. After several minutes of descriptions like massive, big, tall, and really big cathedrals. The husband concludes “it just isn’t in [him] to do it” (Carver 1119). The humility of the husband opens the door for the blind man to teach the husband how to “see”. The lesson begins with a pen and some heavy paper. With the coaxing and encouragement from the blind man the husband draws “windows with arches…flying buttresses…and hung great doors” (Carver 1120). The blind man traces every pen mark building the image in his head as the husband draws. As the cathedral is coming to completion the blind man tells the husband to close his eyes and keep drawing. When the blind man is satisfied with the details of the cathedral he instructs the husband to “take a look” (Carver 1121). Keeping eyes closed the husband says “It’s really something” (Carver 1121). Without the constraints of tangible characteristics he could finally “see”. The husband finally sees something for more than just its physical characteristics. He can see what the cathedral stands for; “the generations of the same families [that] worked on a cathedral” (1118). He can see “the men who began their life’s work on them, who never lived to see the completion of their work” (1118). The intangible, invisible qualities that create the cathedral: are what the blind man could see all along. The husband finally realizes the blind man isn’t blind at all. Without the constraints of the tangible physical characteristics blocking his view, the blind man is able to see the heart and soul. As many philosophers, authors, and sculptors would agree, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. Let us hope the soul of any reader of Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” is much richer for it.

Word Count: 1293
Lead: Making and analogy.
Works Cited
Carver, Raymond. “Cathedral.” Exploring Literature: Writing and Arguing About Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. Ed. Frank Madden. Pearson Longman 2012. 1111. Print.
"Eye Tricks: Gallery of Visual Illusions." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2013. .


Similar Documents

Free Essay

Rebel Without a Cause

...unwilling to conform to the pressures of society and looming adulthood, and that their indifference often leads them down paths of destruction, for themselves and others. The classic 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause, is the quintessential “teen struggle” film, displaying almost all themes discussed within the article. The film’s protagonist, Jim, faces conflict throughout the film mainly with his family and other authority figures, but also internally. Fighting to prove himself with new students at school, Jim carelessly risks his life in a high-speed car race, ending in the death of his competitor, displaying his apathy towards his own safety and that of the other driver. Once again, the film’s supporting character, Pluto, displays no concern for his life or that of others, when in a crazed state, he brandishes a weapon and fires at several people, including police officers. This action leads to his eventual demise, as Pluto is gunned down by the police officers lurking outside the abandoned building he, Jim and Judy had been inside. Through the film the themes of societal and parental pressure to fit into a specific role as well-behaved children are portrayed through the unsettling disregard for the future the teen characters seem to posses. Time and time again, the teens in Rebel disobey the rules, sending them to jail and even resulting in death. This reading specifically drew comparisons to other teen films I had previously never noticed. The general discontent......

Words: 487 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Rebel Without a Cause Symbolism Essay

...Colors and Rebel without a Cause Colors are everywhere in our world. In the world of Jim Stark in the movie Rebel without a Cause, colors provide insight into the feelings of the character, the tone of the scene, and insight into what will happen next. Feelings are all around us, emotions drive us, and we subconsciously express our emotions through things we do and say. In Rebel without a Cause, the director provides the viewer clues to let them know how characters are feeling. One color that is encountered is red. Jim wears a red coat when he goes to school the first day, as well as when he goes to meet the antagonist, Buzz, for a “chicken run”. This color can represent many things. One is Jim’s anxiety. He is starting in a new town, with new people, and a new school. He is anxious to fit in and find a place he is comfortable in. On the other hand, this could represent anger. He is angry at his parents for constantly moving around-forcing him to start over numerous times. He is also angry because his father is emasculated by his mother- forced to clean, and even wear an apron, in addition to his mother making all the decisions; in this time (of the 1950’s), the roles were reversed in social norms- women cleaned and men were in charge and made decisions for the household. Another reason for his anger might be that he was practically forced into dangerous activities to fit in, while he just wanted to stay peaceful and not cause trouble. In movies, setting the tone of a...

Words: 685 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Tomboy Alert: Reining in a Rebel Without a Cause

...Tim Monaghan Professor Beth Eck GSOCI 140 Monday April 6th, 2015 Tomboy Alert: Reining in a Rebel without a Cause Daphne didn’t live up to societal expectations, which is why she was described as “inappropriately female.” On the surface, it means that she didn’t act like a typical girl. More specifically, it means that her misbehavior was due to the fact that she didn’t feel comfortable about being born a girl. This is why, starting from a young age, she stole, joined a gang, used illicit drugs and alcohol, played hooky, was suspended and later expelled from school. She also tended to exhibit violent, abusive behavior and rebelled against authority figures. There were consequences for her behavior that was perceived as being too masculine. This led to her parents to become upset with her, who felt that they couldn’t reach her and eventually didn’t have much of a relationship at all with her. Her peers teased her for acting liking a tomboy. It got to the point where her parents thought that putting her in a mental hospital was the best solution. The mental hospitals that Daphne stayed in served as a total institution. One specific way is how after attempting suicide while at Michael Reese hospital, which was her first mental hospital. This led to her first going into seclusion for treatment, while being locked in a room by herself.......

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

My Life

...For other uses, see Rebel (disambiguation), Rebellion (disambiguation), and Revolution. "Insurrection" and "Uprising" redirect here. For other uses, see Insurrection (disambiguation) and Uprising (disambiguation). A generic symbol for an uprising Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order.[1] It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or taking over the position of an established authority such as a government, governor,president, political leader, financial institution, or person in charge. On the one hand the forms of behaviour can include non-violent methods such as the (overlapping but not quite identical) phenomena of civil disobedience, civil resistance andnonviolent resistance. On the other hand it may encompass violent campaigns. Those who participate in rebellions, especially if they are armed rebellions, are known as "rebels". Throughout history, many different groups that opposed their governments have been called rebels. Over 450 peasant revolts erupted in southwestern Francebetween 1590 and 1715.[2] In the United States, the term was used for theContinentals by the British in the Revolutionary War, and for the Confederacy by the Union in the American Civil War. Most armed rebellions have not been against authority in general, but rather have sought to establish a new government in their place. For example, the Boxer Rebellion sought to implement a stronger government in China in place of......

Words: 3726 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Conflict Diamonds

...1. What are conflict diamonds? What groups benefited from the trade in conflict diamonds? What groups were hurt by it? As defined in the case study, conflict diamonds are gemstones that are mined or stolen by rebels fighting internationally recognized governments. Any of the anti-government/rebel forces/guerrilla troops/or other nonconformist groups within the areas of question or which could fall into this category or situation. The case study points out two groups who benefited the most under this circumstance; the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) (specific to the Sierra Leone region in West Africa) and the UNITA rebels (specific to the Angola region). These rebels inflicted physical pain on the villages which they took over in order to harvest and sell the diamonds. In their efforts to strong-arm villages, they terrorized men, women, and children by amputating their bodies. The mutilation count in the Sierra Leone region was estimated to be somewhere in the 20,000 count. Not only was immediate physical pain inflicted by these rebel organizations, but the money from diamond sales in these regions went to funding their anti-government and civil wars. This produced a continuous circle of effects. 2. What three sectors were concerned with the problem of conflict diamonds? What was the interest of each, and in what way did their interests converge? The (1-Business Sector) diamond industry, (2-Government Sector) the United Nations, several governments (no doubt those......

Words: 770 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Rebellion vs Conformity

...the conflict which he or she can adapt to, rebel against, move beyond, or conform to. People are usually labelled as a, conformist or a rebel. A conformist usually develop the tendency to conform within small groups or/and society, from subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure. People often confine to conform from a desire for a sense of security without the risk of social rejection from peers. Whereas a rebel, refuse to obey rules or accept ‘normal’ standards of certain behavior or looks, usually motivated by a sense of freedom by self – determination aimed to revolutionize. Nonetheless the act of conformity and being rebellious can have its bad and good effects depending on the situation. A simple example of ‘good’ in conformity like driving on the correct side of the road to prevent confusion and accidents can be seen as a beneficial conformity. Positive conforming like this, allows one to learn and adopt appropriate behaviors required to relate and develop correctly within a society without being perceive as seclusion. There’s also ‘good’ in the act of rebellion as it can be seen in history during the Third Servile War (1098-71 BC), when Spartacus along with the slaves rebelled against the cruel Roman republic. With careful plotting and only using kitchen tools as weapons, a great battle took place leading victory for the slaves but sadly Spartacus perished among the battle. People are motivated to rebel in order to escape suppression......

Words: 558 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Cuban Revolution

...revolution held in the XXth century. The Cuban revolution was an armed revolt led by Fidel Castro’s 26th of july movement and allies against the authoritarian government of Cuban president Fulgencio Batista. The revolution started in 1953 and lasted 5 years and a half until 1959 when the rebels finally ousted Batista, however the causes to it weren’t just short term but also long term ones. The purpose of this essay is to analyze both of this types of causes which led together to start the revolution. The long term causes started with the Cuban ten years war also known as the great war in 1868 to 1878. This war was part of Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain due to that it was the first of 3 wars between the 2 countries. In October 10 1868 sugar mill owner, Carlos Manuel Cespedes and his followers proclaimed independence beginning the conflict. The Cuban people demanded 4 main things to the Spanish parliament: Tariff reform, Cuban representation in parliament, judicial equality with Spaniards and full enforcement of a slave trade ban, however the Spanish government denied all of this demands which caused discontent among Cubans and ended in a conflict. The war finally ended because the rebels lacked of organization, resources, participation of the white race, the inability to bring the war to western provinces (such as Havana) and the Us opposition to Cuban independence (it sold weapons to Spain). The pact of Zanjon was signed in February 1878 which promised reforms......

Words: 1775 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Syria Civil War examinations of civil war: the nature of the governmental regime, territoriality complete understanding of what constitutes civil war and provides a framework 76 Introduction the Middle East, authoritarian regimes thought invulnerable to protest and impossible to oust began to cede to massive protest. Attacks on governmental institutions and elite leaders ensconced from public opinion developed divergently in each nation, employing tailored strategies to mobilize the public and reap key support. This paper focuses on the nature and development of these Arab Spring further use these distinctions to illuminate the conceptual, instrumental, and semantic nature of civil war in general. - exacerbated the grievances felt by rebel forces and smoothed over ethnic, religious, and tribal ten- trastingly, in Syria, instances of mild reform under Bashar al-Assad, popular concerns for security, kept civil war at bay. Conceptual Isolation of Civil War presence or absence of civil war. However, the scholarly distinction between civil war and other insurgency and counter-insurgency, uprisings, genocide or genocidal actions, and general loss of internal monopoly over the legitimate use of force.1 confuses the framework of responses and semantically politicizes actions by regional and international players. Thus, in order to explore the causal factors in reaching civil war, the instrumental and The constitutive dimensions of civil war are conceptually under......

Words: 4840 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Asses the Significance of Religion in Causing Rebellion in England Between 1530 to 1660

...played a part in causing rebellion as well as other factors such as political, economic and class conflict issues.Religion begins with being a very significant factor in causing rebellion but becomes less important as time goes. In the pilgrimage of grace of 1536 first and foremost the rebels demanded that “the heresies of … anabaptist to be destroyed.”[1] This is when england was in the process of breaking from rome under Henry VIII and the shock of the country having its religion changed suddenly causes an immense amount of discontent It was popular opinion among the commoners that it was Henry's evil advisors the heretics Wolsey and Crammer that were behind the change and needed to be stopped.The westerner rebellion of 1549 that also had significant religious origin. The areas on Devon and Cornwall where very traditional and therefore strongly against reformation to a protestant england. They rose up in arms against the reintroduction of a new protestant prayer book that was in english as well as soughting to have Henry VII’s six articles that had been abolished by Edward VI since his crowning in 1547. On the other side of the country in the same year Kett’s rebellion had major religious causes behind it as they weren't as traditional as Cornwall and Devon had accepted the new protestant faith. They were only calling for a “more active and involved clergy” [2] to do take part in the community and offer services such as educating the poor.In 1553 after the death of Edward......

Words: 2865 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Whisky Rebellion

...and what happened during the whisky rebellion 3. Identify key ID’s, Events, People, Places that would be essential for answering this question (feel free to add more if five doesn’t cover it). a. Battle of Bower Hill- Mingo Creek Militia Men Surrounded General Neville’s home, Neville Mortally wounded one of the rebels so they opened fire on his house, reinforcements came from US army, in the end the rebels set the house on fire, Neville and US army surrendered, everyone got let go except Neville who escaped from captivity b. March on Pittsburg-7,000 protestors gathered approx 8 miles from Pittsburg, wanted to loot town and then burn it to the ground, looting and burning due to Pittsburg sending representatives saying that they agree with their cause (against whisky tax) so protestors resorted only to burning the barns of Major Kirkpatrick and marching through town c. Federal Response- Washington sent a representative to try to settle the riots and rebellion peacefully, mostly just to make it look like he tried, but actually started organizing a militia which in the end consisted of approx 12,000 men. d. Washington was able to capture and disperse the rebel militia with 24 people being sentenced to high treason, was a huge success for the U.S.A. since showed that the new government was able to handle people and riots with success and enforce the laws that it had implemented e. Whisky Tax- was an excise and luxury tax to payback the debts of the revolutionary......

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

1984 Whos More of a Rebel?

...12/13/1 Now days a rebel is, unfortunately, mistaken a lot as a redneck or Goth. Even though rebels cannot be classified by ethnic groups people have been making assumptions on what makes a true rebel. In the book 1984 there is a couple, Julia and Winston, who have been committing various crimes against their government. But the question is who of the two would be considered more of a rebel? By looking at what makes a rebel, how Julia is a rebel, and what makes Winston a rebel we are able to classify which of the too is the true rebel. A rebel is a person who stands up for their own personal opinions despite what anyone else thinks or says. It’s all about being an individual and refusing to follow a crowd or government that forces you to think the same way even if it means being punished because of it. True rebels know who they are and what they stand for. They know what they believe in and don’t let anyone else change it. They commit crimes, brake rules and are straight forward about things they don’t like; they tell things as they are. Julia is a sensual, realistic, and generally focused more on living in the moment kind of person but even though she is still a rebel. She’s most concerned with enjoying sex and making practical plans to avoid getting caught by the Party but in most of those plans it involves doing rebellious acts. Such as stealing, having sex, and doing things in secrecy. Although Julia does not do as much as Winston her purpose and main goal is...

Words: 1223 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

What Was the Main Reason for Deterioration of Anglo Spanish Relations 1572-88

... Firstly, The Treaty of Nonsuch on the 10th August 1585 outlined Elizabeth’s intent to fight Philip over the Netherlands. She accepted the role of ‘Protector of Dutch Rebels’ and promised to provide up to 8,000 English troops in the Netherlands by 1587. While the troops were poorly led by Leicester and their military assistance was not significant, Philip took this signal of intent from Elizabeth as war. From this day onwards, Marquis of Santa Cruz started planning the Spanish Armada. This also led to Drake disrupting planning in April 1887 where he blew up ships in Cadiz to stall the Armada. It has been said that Elizabeth was not aware of the consequences of her actions and she did not mean to declare war, however this evidence is flimsy and her advisers would have warned her about what would happen. As we can see, war had never officially been announced before, although many spats had occurred between the nations. Therefore, while there are other factors to take into account, this was definitely the match which lit the fuse of war. While it could be argued that the Treaty of Nonsuch was the main reason for Anglo Spanish relations going sour, the whole year of 1585 could be seen as the main factor. Parma captured Antwerp and Scheldt, leaving just two and a half provinces left for the Dutch Rebels to defend, without a leader and facing bankruptcy. This is important because Philip had basically defeated them, meaning he could focus wholly on Elizabeth and England,......

Words: 1006 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Conflicts in Africa

... Today’s rebels seem especially uninterested in winning converts, content instead to steal other people’s children, stick axes in their hands, and make them do the killing. Most of today’s African fighters are not rebels with a cause, but predators. That’s why there are stunning slaughters like eastern Congo’s rape epidemic, where armed groups in recent years have sexually assaulted hundreds of thousands of women, often so cruelly that the victims are left incontinent for life. What is the purpose of these conflicts? The soldiers don’t want ministries or tracts of land to govern. Their armies are often traumatized children, with experience and skills that are totally unsuited for civilian life and it is often sometimes too late to go back to a normal lifestyle. All they want is money, weapons, and a license to cause destruction. By the looks of it they’ve already gotten all three. The beginnings of African rebels were fighting against colonialism, tyranny, or apartheid. The winning revolts often came with a delightful, intelligent leader wielding convincing bombast. These men are living relics of a past that has been essentially abolished. Put the well-educated John Garang and the old Robert Mugabe in a room with todays visionless rebel leaders, and they would have just about nothing in common. This defeats the purpose of the causes of the conflicts regarding war in Africa to begin with. What are the causes of Africa’s turmoil? A major cause of......

Words: 837 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Utilitarianism in Ethics

...with rebel fighters who were being detained for execution. Fortunate enough for him, the government commander put Jim in a life changing situation, kill the rebel leader himself and he along with the remaining rebels get let go. If he failed to do so, the commander and his troops will execute all the rebels, sack their village for anything of value, and leave Jim stranded in the rainforest with no supplies, resulting in almost certain death. Through analyzing the theory of ethical relativism, we were able to decide that Jim should in fact kill the rebel leader, but what if we analyze another ethical theory? Will we come up with the same answer as we did before? Or is it possible that through the research of different theories and ideas we can come up with a completely different response to Jim’s unusual predicament? Using a new theory, utilitarianism, or, the idea that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority, we can further analyze why Jim should still kill the rebel leader and why it is a better answer than if we were to use relativism. This paper will describe the ethical theory of utilitarianism in great detail, it will than be applied to Jim’s situation just like before, challenge opposing viewpoints of utilitarianism, refresh ourselves on why we originally picked relativism for Jim’s situation, and than we will analyze why utilitarianism, as opposed to relativism, is a better theory to use to aide Jim in his decision to execute the rebel......

Words: 3069 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

German Peasant Revolt Dbq

...German Peasant Revolt DBQ  The German peasants of the 1524-1526 revolts were caused by interpretations of Lutheran ideals, the peasants desires to break free from serfdom, and the general search for equality in the eyes of god. The response to the peasant revolts varied among the social, political, and religious affiliations, ranging from cruel condemnation to fervent support of their cause. The rebels organized swiftly and fought hard, this determination helped achieve social reform, which the most important German reformer, Martin Luther, was completely opposed to.  Though the revolts were blamed on Lutheran reforms (Doc 1), Luther himself vehemently refuted the dispute (Doc 7). He refers to the peasants as dogs and is generally cruel towards their cause. Though a religious reformer, his dependence on the German nobility would not allow him to support the peasants; therefore his point of view is one in support of quelling the rebellions. The peasants may not have had the support of their greatest religious inspiration but they still drew on his word in order to justify their fight. The peasants claim that because all men are equal under the eyes of god, they have just as much divine right as the nobles do (Doc 3). These religious drives were set out in the Articles of The Peasants of Memmingen and would be responded to by the nobles, thus connecting Docs 3 and 4.  The nobles would retort to the religious grounds of the peasants by ensuring them that their salvation was......

Words: 799 - Pages: 4