The main character in Cathedral believes himself to be blessed with two functional eyes without ever realizing his lack of vision. The eyes of the narrator are biased, insecure, jealous, and very limited in what they choose to see. This inability to see is made apparent when he encounters a "blind" friend from his wife's past. The narrator's perception of the world around him, and less than clear vision, is resolved by a great irony in the story when the blind man helps the narrator see past his prejudiced outlook on life. The blind man teaches the narrator how to see beyond his limited perception. .
The first few pages of the story reveal the narrator's blurred view of his own life, his wife's life, and the entire world around him. The narrator, Bub, seems to have an unhappy and insecure approach to everyday life. The narrator's unclear view of his wife's past life indicates the insecurities within himself. When referring to his wife's ex-husband he says, "Her officer- why should he have a name? He was the childhood sweetheart, and what more does he Want?" (P773) By treating everyone generically and denying their importance, the narrator is trying to make himself seem more important in the lives of others. He simply calls his wife's first husband the officer, or the man. His refusal to even use his wife's name while narrating, as well as, constantly referring to Robert as the blind man, shows that he has decided to block out the importance of the people around him. He is even less considerate of Roberts's wife, whom he refers to as Beulah. He goes as far as referring to her racial ancestry: "Was his wife a Negro?" (P773).
The narrator chooses not to see everyone around him as individuals, but as a whole group. A group he is scared to look at. The narrator's feelings toward Robert are of a negative vibe, but it is more than the disability that bothers him. The narrator is first aggravated by the fact that his wife talks of how she allowed Robert to touch her face.