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Blind as a Bat

            In the short stories "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver and "Girls at War" by Chinua Achebe, the theme of blindness is prevalent. In "The Cathedral" Robert, the man who comes to visit, is physically blind, but in his mind, he sees things more clearly than most others do. His "mental-vision" is seen when he travels to his ex-employee's house to visit for a couple days. Robert knows the implications of the situation he is putting himself in. The husband, who is the narrator, could be jealous and this whole trip could turn out adversely for the blind man. The husband could be nonchalant about Robert's knowledge of his wife and making the trip all the worth while. Robert is not the only one in the story to have vision. When the husband offers Robert some marijuana, he is taking a risk. He thinks the blind man will be ok with the idea of it but he does not know for sure. He could end up turning Robert off and that would be then end of their relationship and any hope of ever having one. Robert turns out to be open to new experiences, although he has never tried it; he gives it a try. Both of these people have a vision that is lacking by the wife. The narrator's vision is not clouded by the things he sees. Robert relies totally on his inner vision to guide him because he is blind. Because both of these people have a vision that is not possessed by Robert's wife, they get along very well and hit it off from the start. The wife's lack of vision is seen when she first introduces Robert to her husband. Her husband asks Robert what side of the train he sat on. After making this remark his wife tells him off for asking a question that would not make any sense to ask a blind man, since his view of the scenery is the same no matter which side he sits on. His wife does not realize that her husband is trying to start a conversation. Since he has probably never talked to a blind man, he does not know what to say.

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