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Darien DeclinesHomEngWr 30130 January 2018Fiction Journal 1: Cathedral In the short story Cathedral by Raymond Carver, the narrator’s wife is has invited her friend Robert over for dinner, but the narrator dislikes the fact that her friend is blind. The trio spend the evening eating, drinking, smoking weed and watching television. The story concludes with Robert and the narrator drawing a cathedral. What I found interesting was the story’s theme of “Sight versus Insight”, which is portrayed through the narrator and Robert. The story’s narrator is somebody who has perfect vision, but he lacks understanding of the people around him. To illustrate, when the narrator is listening to his wife talk to Robert, he is not focused on the conversation. Instead, he’s only focused on hearing his wife talk about him. Additionally, when the narrator learns that Robert’s wife is dead, he pities Robert because he could see what she looked like physically. The narrator is lacking the ability to see anything past the surface leveo, which makes him more blind than Robert. In contrast, Robert is the opposite of the narrator. Robert is blind, but he exhibits an ability to have a deeper understanding with the those around him. Robert is essentially the blind wiseman trope, where he can see more, despite the lack of vision. Robert uses his ears to truly listen to what somebody is saying, which creates a strong connection. Robert’s ability to understand others allows him to have a deeper emotional understanding with narrator’s wife than the narrator himself. There appears to be a change in the narrator towards the end of the story. When he and Robert draw the cathedral, he closes his eyes and starts to draw more details, showing his progression towards insight. While it is ambiguous how much he will change, it’s still a step in the right direction.  In conclusion, the story is trying to say that people should be able to look past the surface level in order to have a better understanding of each other.    

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