The short story "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver develops characters through an intriguing perspective. In general, the narrator shows the realistic human attitudes and attributes, but there is also a depth that shows another interpretation. The writer, Carver, not only creates a realistic human picture, he uses the old story of the "deliverer" to rework the story into something different and more unique. He uses the characters to bind stories into readers" minds into deeper level of his perspectives.
Carver obviously wants us to see the narrator's character as figuratively "blind." As the story opens, the narrator gives a short background about his wife and the blind man's relationship, and the readers can sense his disgust and unwillingness to understand what it is like to be blind. He only has concerns for himself and how uncomfortable he will be in the situation. The writer wants the readers to see how ignorant the narrator is, due to his lack of social life. The narrator keeps on ridiculing the blind man by offering to his wife to take blind man bowling, and saying how the blind man could marry a woman never knowing what she looks like.
With this story beyond the narrator's comprehension, he keeps on wondering what it is like being blind. The narrator pities the blind man's relationship with his deceased wife: "They"d married, lived and worked together, slept together- had sex, sure- and then the blind man had to bury her. All of this having ever seen what the goddamned woman looked like" (231). Through the narrator's clipped descriptions of his own wife's former marriage and attempted suicide, it is clear that he is not quite in tune with her emotional states. Carver creates the husband's character as disciplined, narrow minded, and unwilling to at first but eventually does shift his philosophy on the relationship of his wife and the blind man. .
The wife serves as a channel to bring about change in this perception of the narrator's by welcoming her friend into their household.