Comment on the symbolism of blindness in "Cathedral": who is blind, and in what way?

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In "Cathedral," Raymond Carver reflects on what it really means to be blind. One character is physically blind, yet this man actually has significant insight into life and reality. The narrator has his physical sight, but he is metaphorically blind in many ways.

The narrator, for instance, carries many prejudices about people. He has no idea what it is to be blind and knows about blind people only from what he has seen in movies. What's more, he is jealous of the friendship between the blind man and his wife, who have known each other for a long time. He even supposes that the blind man's wife must have been Black because her name was Beulah.

The narrator holds to no sort of religious beliefs either. In fact, he tells the blind man that he doesn't believe in anything at all. Indeed, the narrator's view of reality and of other people is pretty dim at best and often completely blinded by his own presuppositions.

Ironically, it is the blind man who helps the narrator begin to overcome his blindness. After the narrator's wife goes to bed, the narrator and the blind man turn their attention to a television program about medieval cathedrals. The blind man cannot fully understand what a cathedral is, so together, the narrator and the man draw a cathedral, with the blind man following the narrator's hand. The narrator closes his eyes, finally trying to see what life must be like without physical sight. In the process, he gains some sight of his own.

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