How does the protagonist change in "Cathedral"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of "Cathedral," the narrator/protagonist appears to be obtuse and clueless about people who have handicaps. The fact that his wife's friend and former employer is blind and is going to visit them throws him off balance, and he makes inappropriate observations and comments. He seems, for instance, to think that it's amazing that a blind man is "wearing a full beard." (One would almost expect a prejudiced man to express surprise if, instead, a blind man were clean-shaven.) In the narrative, he keeps referring to his guest as "the blind man," despite his wife's having told him that the man's name is Robert. He continues to repeat things and to make naive commentaries to the reader about his having thought that "dark glasses were a must for the blind" and therefore finding it anomalous that Robert doesn't wear such glasses, carry a cane, or other stereotypical things.

When they smoke grass together, there is the start of a breakthrough. The real change in the narrator occurs...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 979 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 13, 2020