Filter Your Search Results:

Moral Lessons in Cathedral Essay



Raymond Carvers story Cathedral is a story full of moral lessons based on one mans prejudice toward another. Set in the New York home of a nameless narrator and his wife, the story is about a blind man, Robert, who comes to visit the couple, and the conflict that each character faces in the midst of his visit. His wife had died. So he was visiting the dead wifes relatives in Connecticut, the narrator states (19). The narrators obvious bitterness toward Robert is clearly conveyed in this statement by the lack of sensitivity in his use of the term dead wife. In addition, the narrators repeated use of the term blind man when referring to Robert makes is clear to the reader that he only sees the handicap Robert possesses, not who he really is as a person. This sets the stage for the remainder of the story.

The narrators wife has a long history with the blind man and his account of their longstanding friendship creates the general mood of bitterness that the narrator maintains in the beginning of the story. The narrator tells of their initial meeting in Seattle when his wife was in search of a job. The narrator says, Theyd become good friends, my wife and the blind man. How do I know these things? She told me (20). The undertone of this statement implies the narrators disgust toward Robert. He then goes on to describe how his wife grows closer to the blind man after she marries her first husband, an Air Force officer. The narrator talks about tapes that his wife and Robert exchanged during this time as an alternative to writing letters. The narrator expresses his resentment in the form of sarcasm by saying, Over the years, she put all kinds of stuff on tapes and sent the tapes off lickety-split. Next to writing a poem every year, I think it was her chief means of recreation (21). The narrator is quite obviously upset that the blind man shared these intimate thoughts and experiences with his wife of which the narrator was not involved.

The narrator expresses extreme jealousy and general disdain for the blind man early on in the story. Just after he learns of the blind mans impending visit, the narrator states, I wasnt enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me (20). These thoughts carry on through the story as the narrator begins to give the background details on his wifes relationship with the blind man. When the narrator describes a poem his wife wrote about an experience she had when the blind man touched her face, he says, I can remember I didnt think much of the poem (20). As the story continues, the narrator talks about the tapes that his wife and the blind man exchanged. When he found out that one of the tapes was about him, he and his wife sat down to listen to it. As the narrator heard the blind man speak his name he exclaimed, [] I heard my own name in the mouth of the stranger, this blind man I didnt even know! (21). The narrator is clearly jealous and even resentful of his wifes relationship with the blind man.

You'll need to sign up to view the entire essay.

Sign Up Now, It's FREE
Filter Your Search Results: