How does the blind man, Robert, give Bub, the sighted narrator, new vision and new perspective in Carver's "Cathedral"? Describe Bub's experience.

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Robert provides the narrator with a "new vision" by uniting with him in the drawing of a cathedral, an act in which they closed their eyes and moved their hands together, connecting in spirit to one another.

Before Robert arrives the narrator is a man who is discontent. He is...

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Robert provides the narrator with a "new vision" by uniting with him in the drawing of a cathedral, an act in which they closed their eyes and moved their hands together, connecting in spirit to one another.

Before Robert arrives the narrator is a man who is discontent. He is dissatisfied with his job, socially awkward, lacking in religious faith, without friends and without children. Most of all, he is unable to communicate with his wife with the openness and intimacy that the blind man can, and he is envious of the man's connection with his wife. "It was beyond my understanding" he remarks.
Truly, there is a certain sarcasm to the narrator. For instance, when he first meets Robert, the narrator jokes about the blind man's eyes, saying that one eye made an effort to keep in one place, but the other eye "was on the roam without his knowing it or wanting it to be." For the most part, however, the narrator spares Robert from his sarcasm; instead, he sits passively and listens. That is, until his wife falls asleep, and then the narrator is left to entertain Robert himself. 

The two men begin to drink, and then Robert agrees to "smoke some dope" with the narrator. As the night progresses, there is little on the television, so the narrator watches a program about cathedrals. This sparks the blind man Robert to ask the narrator if he is religious, and he tells Robert, "I guess I don't believe in...anything." Then, as the program continues, Robert asks the narrator to describe a cathedral. But, the narrator refuses, "It just isn't in me to do it." Still, Robert insists, so the narrator goes to his wife's room and finds some pens; he goes to the kitchen and finds a shopping bag. When he returns, the men sit on the floor and Robert puts his hand over the narrator's in an encouraging manner. 
While the narrator draws, he taps into something he has not felt before: his artistic/spiritual side. At first, he draws a box, but then he elaborates by sketching a roof, flying buttresses, and great doors. About this time, the narrator's wife wakes up and asks what they are doing. Robert replies, "We're drawing a cathedral." He tells the narrator to close his eyes, and he does. 

"Keep them that way," he said...."Don't stop now. Draw."
So we kept on with it. His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper. It was like nothing else in my life up to now. 

The man who does not believe in anything, the narrator, finally finds something to believe in. His spiritual experience with Robert is "like nothing else" he has ever felt. Finally, the narrator connects with the spirit of another; he is in communion with Robert.

 

 

 

 

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