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Symbolism in Cathedral by Raymond Carver

            "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver, is a uniquely written short story that symbolizes the importance, knowledge and joy of understanding that can be gained by overcoming prejudices and fears. I describe this story as "unique" because of the way it is written; the sentences are very short and to the point, which was unusual in comparison to most literature that I have read. This story is about an unnamed man (the narrator) who is put in a situation where he is forced to socialize with a blind man named Robert. This situation occurs because Robert is an old friend of the narrator's wife, and she arranges for him to stay at her home for a visit following the death of his wife. It is very clear from the beginning that the narrator has no desire to have any association with the blind man, or any blind man for that matter. In the very first paragraph, he very bluntly tells us his disdain for this visit with to-the-point sentences such as "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit" and "his being blind bothered me" (Norton33), followed by a list of presumptions such as, "the blind moved slowly and never laughed" (Norton33).
             Carver focuses a lot on how the narrator feels about the blind man, which is what leads me to say that this is the most crucial part of the story; the blind man ends up symbolizing "sight" in a way that the narrator very clearly does not understand; insight, and "seeing" people for who they truly are, leaving judgments behind. By the way the narrator acts throughout most of this story, it is hard for the reader to believe that he will ever by accepting of Robert, or even blind people as a whole. The narrator's opinion is not even swayed by the fact that the blind man's wife has just died, and although he is still polite to him and feels some pity at times, he never falters from his biased opinion of blind people.

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