The short narrative “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver displays one man’s new found apprehension and credence of a unsighted adult male over a comparatively short period of clip. The storyteller represents the story’s dominant subject of get the better ofing fright and bias of the blind through personal experience every bit good as common regard. The storyteller who remains unidentified throughout the drama holds profoundly baseless beliefs and stereotypes of what a unsighted individual should be. yet through assorted phases of transmutation he develops a bond with Robert. the unsighted adult male whom at foremost he in private mocked and feared. The storyteller is ill at easiness with the thought of holding a unsighted adult male in his place ; nevertheless. through assorted phases of transmutation he rapidly begins to warm up to Robert as a individual. non merely as a unsighted adult male. When the narrator’s stereotypes of the blind are discredited. he reaches his first phase of transmutation. This allows him to come on to his 2nd phase with the realisation that Robert is a capable human being. The concluding two phases come when the storyteller allows his head to allow travel of all of its biass and allows himself to place with and understand Robert through his disability.
The first phase of transmutation for the storyteller is that his preconceived impressions about blind people are proved false when he meets Robert for the first clip. The storyteller is non looking frontward to holding a unsighted adult male stay at his house. But one time Robert arrives at the narrator’s place. the storyteller is shocked that Robert does non conform to the narrator’s thought of the blind. When Robert gets out of the auto himself without any aid. this action truly goes against the narrator’s thoughts of a slow moving blind adult male. The storyteller now begins to oppugn his image of a unsighted individual. The storyteller notes that Robert “didn’t use a cane. and he didn’t wear dark glasses” ( 106 ) . Both are the narrator’s outlooks of a unsighted individual. Suddenly the storyteller no longer has much to establish his biass on. The transmutation that is seen in the storyteller in the first phase sets him up for the following phase to get down.
The following phase of transmutation for the storyteller comes at supper when the storyteller begins to see Robert as a capable human being instead than a load. During supper the storyteller notes that he “watched with esteem as he ( Robert ) used his knife and fork on the meat” ( 107 ) . This is the first positive remark that the storyteller uses to depict Robert. Subsequently. this phase of apprehension is enhanced when Robert agrees to smoke a joint with the storyteller by stating “‘I’ll seek some with you’” despite ne’er seeking it before ( 109 ) . This brings the storyteller and Robert closer together as they portion a minute like old friends. Now the storyteller. while non wholly over his biass. is get downing to see Robert non merely as a unsighted adult male but besides as a human being and perchance a friend. When the narrator’s married woman falls asleep. he and Robert are left entirely watching telecasting. The storyteller stumbles across the thought that Robert has no thought what a Cathedral is. The storyteller tries his best to explicate it to Robert. but he fails. The storyteller apologizes to Robert for non being able to depict the Cathedral to him. and it is apparent through the narrator’s ideas and actions that he genuinely does experience sorry. The narrator’s phase of transmutation has brought him to sympathize with Robert.
After the storyteller fails to depict the Cathedral. Robert asks the storyteller to pull the Cathedral with him. This is when the most astonishing phase of transmutation takes topographic point. The storyteller begins to pull the Cathedral for Robert. At first the storyteller is hesitating ; nevertheless. all of a sudden he gets caught up in pulling as Roberts fingers follow along.
“I put in Windowss with arches. I drew winging buttresses. I hung great doors. I could non halt. The Television station went off the air. I put down the pen and closed and opened my fingers. I took up the pen once more. and he found my manus. I kept at it. I am no creative person. But I kept pulling merely the same” ( 114 ) .
These ideas from the storyteller stand for his new found connexion with Robert. He is now seeking to assist Robert and associate to him instead than endure him. The storyteller is candidly seeking his hardest to assist Robert understand what a Cathedral is in ocular footings. The storyteller so thinks how “It was like nil else in my life up to now” ( 114 ) . While making this. the storyteller furthers his phase of empathy with Robert.
The concluding phase of transmutation is when the storyteller lets go wholly of all his biass and preconceived impressions. This happens when he is finishing the drawing of the Cathedral with Robert. The storyteller keeps his eyes closed when Robert asks him to see the finished drawing. When Robert asks in mention to the pulling “‘What do you believe? ‘” . the storyteller so replies. “‘It’s truly something’” ( 114 – 115 ) . However. what Robert does non cognize is that the storyteller is noticing on the experience with Robert instead than what the pulling expressions like. In this concluding phase the storyteller is freed from all of his anterior constructs of what a unsighted adult male is and all of his frights of Robert himself. The narrator’s head has been expanded through his experience of learning Robert what a Cathedral expressions like. The storyteller has an about out of organic structure experience through his newborn credence of Robert’s disability when he thinks “I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was indoors anything” ( 115 ) .
The phases of transmutation for the storyteller are really rapid. Each phase leads to the following in a orderly sequence. The reader sees the storyteller go from a damaging adult male to an enlightened adult male within a twelve pages. Along with its assorted phases. the transmutation works with the story’s dominant subjects of suppressing trepidation and intolerance of the blind through personal apprehension every bit good as reciprocated regard. The storyteller goes through three initial phases before making his concluding phase of entire credence and apprehension. In the beginning he must first get the better of his stereotypes of the blind. which are taking him to a negative thought. After this alteration takes topographic point. he comes to see Robert as a adult male who is separate from his disablement. Then he begins to sympathize with Robert because of the narrator’s lacking ability to assist Robert. This leads the storyteller to thorough understanding through the shared experience of the Cathedral drawing. The narrator’s epiphany is non reached through slow gradual development but instead through assorted speedy phases of transmutation.