Monday, February 13, 2012


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In reading “Cathedral”, I felt the narrator was filled with a lot of resentment. He resented the close relationship his wife had with Robert, a blind man whom he had never met. Throughout most of the reading he had a negative attitude towards their relationship. However, at the end, I believe he may have come to realize something about himself.

The narrator made it a point to mention he was not at all thrilled about having a blind man in his home. At first I thought he may have been discriminating against him, but as I continued, I got the impression perhaps there was a bit more to it. I believe the narrator felt his wife shared more things with Robert than with him. It bothered him tremendously to know that Robert once touched his wife’s face. When he mentioned she wrote a poem to describe her experience and her feelings about it, he stated “he didn’t think much of it”. This statement gave me the impression that the narrator was a very insensitive and cold-hearted man. Another example of his insensitivity was in regards to the death of Robert’s wife. He stated “the other half of the coin went into the box with her. Pathetic.” How could he say it was pathetic? I think it was beautiful. A mans’ love for his wife should never be considered as pathetic! When he told his wife he didn’t have any blind friends, she pointed out to him that he didn’t have any friends. This left me to assume he wasn’t a very sociable and friendly individual either.

I believe from the very beginning of Roberts’ arrival, the narrator felt a bit threatened. He watched through the window as they both came up the drive. He saw his wife smiling in the car and commented that it was “amazing”. Why would that be amazing? His reaction made me wonder if he had ever made his wife smile. I was not at all getting a good impression of the husband.

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After their introduction and after dinner, the narrator did not make much of an effort to converse with Robert. For the most part, he only listened to as his wife and Robert carried on. When his wife went upstairs to change into something more comfortable, he was left alone with him. I believe the wife may have purposely taken a long time to return in order to force her husband to converse with Robert. While watching television, the narrator eventually found something to talk to him about. As he watched the cathedrals shown on television and realized Robert did not understand the term cathedral, he tried to describe them. They were large and built by people who “in those olden days wanted to be close to God”. I think he tried to imply people these days don’t want to be close to God. It was clear to me he was not a religious man. I do believe he sincerely tried describing what the cathedrals looked like but found it too difficult. It was difficult to explain the details because, as he said, the cathedrals “meant nothing special to him”.

When the narrator agreed to draw a cathedral, Robert made the point to encourage him and let him know how good he was doing. I think once he closed his eyes and continued to draw, he felt a sense of worth. At the end of the reading he stated, “I didn’t feel like I was inside anything”. I had a hard time trying to understand what he meant by that. I concluded that perhaps he knew what it was like to be worth something. I feel he realized he had been a stranger in his own marriage, in his own home.

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