Blindness in Raymond Carver's Cathedral Essay

876 Words 4 Pages
Blindness in Raymond Carver's Cathedral Blindness creates a world of obscurity only to be overcome with guidance from someone willing to become intimate with the blind. Equally true, the perceptions of blindness can only be overcome when the blind allow intimacy with the sighted. Raymond
Carver, with his short story Cathedral, illustrates this point through the eyes of a man who will be spending an evening with a blind man, Robert, for the first time. Not only does this man not know Robert, but his being blind, "bothered" (Carver 98) him.
His, "idea of blindness came from the movies", where, "...the blind move slowly and never laughed" (Carver 98). These misconceptions of blindness form barriers between the blind and
the
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In reality though, the act of the blind man touching her face is what he didn't understand.
To him this seemed a bizarre encounter. Some people, like his wife and myself, are able to realize how meaningful this experience is. As a child I developed a close relationship with my blind grandmother, similar to that between his wife and
Robert. My grandmother would often run her fingers over my face, which would make me feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. As I became an adult though, I began to realize the importance this act held for my grandmother, and eventually for myself. Touching, for the blind, becomes a vital aspect of relating with the world.
To touch something is to see it with your fingers. It was my grandmother's way of becoming familiar with me through her hands instead of her eyes. His wife had experienced this emotional closeness with Robert, while he could only try to understand it by hearing and reading about it. Without personally knowing anyone who is blind, the imagination takes over and preconceived ideas are formed. This man had created a picture in his mind of what Robert would look like, and how he would act. When Robert arrived at his house he learned that none of his assumptions were correct. Robert didn't wear the typical dark glasses, or walk with a cane. Even without the cane Robert didn't move slowly like he thought he would. He had read somewhere that blind

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