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Word Count: 1,224
The narrator in Raymond Carvers Cathedral is not a particularly sensitive man I might describe him as self-centered superficial and egotistical And while his actions certainly speak to these points it is his misunderstanding of the people and the relationships presented to him in this story which show most clearly his tragic flaw while Robert is physically blind it is the narrator that cannot clearly see the world around him In the eyes of the narrator Roberts blindness is his defining characteristic The opening line of Cathedral reads This blind man an old friend of my wifes he was on his way to spend the night Carver 1052 Clearly the narrator can not see past Roberts disability he dismisses him in the same way a racist might dismiss a black man In reality any prejudice be it based on gender race or disability involves one persons inability to look past a superficial quality If someone judges a person based on such a characteristic they are only seeing the aspect of the person which makes them uncomfortable The narrator has unconsciously placed Robert in a category that he labels abnormal which stops him from seeing the blind man as an individual The narrators reaction to Roberts individuality shows his stereotypical views The narrator assumed Robert did not do certain things just because he was blind When he first saw Robert his reaction was simple This blind man feature this he was wearing a full beard A beard on a blind man Too much I say When Robert sat down on the couch he thinks Iread somewhere that the blind didnt smoke because as speculation had it they couldnt see the smoke they exhaledBut this blind man smoked his cigarette down to the nubbin and then lit another one The narrators naivete leaves him amazed by Robert who does things which the narrator would view as atypical of the blind This reinforces the idea that
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