Metaphors of Blindness in "Cathedral"

In Raymond Carver's short story, “Cathedral,” the close-minded speaker is forced to spend a civil evening with a blind man. Initially, the narrator despises the blind community. However, after interacting and connecting with the blind man in the story, the speaker finds himself with a transformed opinion. He discovers the blind man's immense and unique wealth of wisdom. While blindness is an obvious theme of the story, the author may have executed it through more than merely the blind man's physical condition. Just as he lacks his vision, the speaker and his wife are blinded socially and emotionally. These dynamic personalities allow the characters to construct a strong bond and a sense of growth throughout the story. “Cathedral” illustrates the nature of blindness, both physical and metaphorical, and demonstrates its effect on the characters.

In order to apply blindness as a metaphor, Carver must first introduce his physically blind character. This man, Robert, serves as the foundation for the core theme of the entire story. This wise and smooth character is genuinely interesting. His charm and intelligence nearly have a way of compensating for the absence of his vision. This scenario is not uncommon in literature....

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 932 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in