In the story Cathedral by Raymond Carver the narrator finds himself In a dramatic change, The narrators tells the story as him and his wife are expecting an ex co- worker of his wife. We learn that the wife’s co-worker Is a man by the name of Robert who Is blind. We learn the Roberts wife passed away and has been feeling a bit down since then. The narrator’s wife talks about all the great accomplishments Robert has had which leads to his jealousy. As Robert arrives the narrator is thrown off as he is nothing as what he expected.
They have dinner and talk more about Roberts experiences. The narrator’s wife soon falls asleep as they all smoke pot. Robert is left with the narrator and they start talking about life and even watch some t. V. When Robert doesn’t seem to know what a cathedral looks like he asks the narrator to help him visualize it. Robert tells the narrator to grab a paper and pen and to draw a cathedral with his hand over It. He asks the narrator to open his eyes and sees what he has drawn. The narrator sees his house with himself In It.
Carver sees different tones for the characters to convey his message that there Is a difference between seeing and looking. The author’s message Is critical to the use of tone. One could have the highest education but be the most ignorant person in the world. The author uses characterization, a serious conflict element, and point of view to align the main tone with his central message. Carvers uses characterization in page 161 where he describes the relationship she had with Robert. He writes, “Over the years, she put all kinds of stuff on tapes and .NET the tapes off licked-split.
Next to writing a poem every year, I think it was her chief means of recreation… She told him everything or so It seemed to me. ” We learn that his wife has a connection with Robert on a much deeper level. Its as if the narrator doesn’t feel he’s getting attention because he hasn’t really been there life Robert has. By this description of his wife we can tell that narrator In this case might be more of an antagonist than the protagonist. We start to Like Robert more than the actual main character in the story.
Carver proceeds to give insight on the narrators point of view. We learn that he is a very ignorant person. In one specific scene the narrator says, “Hearing this, I felt sorry for the blind man for a little bit. And then I found myself thinking what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one. ” (162) The narrator’s point of view of Robert is described here, he feels sorry for the man and thinks lesser of him because he’s blind.
The apparent most obvious way we can tell the tone of this story is by carver’s conflict element. The conflict being that a woman might be more interested In a blind man rather than an Ignorant husband. As mentioned If the narrator Is always being annoying to his wife and not relating to her emotions then It must mean there Is something wrong with the relationship. As for Robert, she always seems to relate to sets the tone for the whole story, it lets us know there’s something wrong and sometimes we forget that beauty comes from within and love cannot be bought with lust or money.