Provide some excerpts from the text to demostrate the narrator's attitude in "Cathedral."

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copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator's attitude in "Cathedral" can be described as jealous, aloof, self-absorbed, and even condescending. The first-person point of view used in the story amplifies these qualities as we see the internal workings of the narrator's mind and his reaction to the events and people of the story.

For example, in the story's first paragraph, the narrator comments on Robert's visit, "I wasn't enthusiastic about his visit. He was no one I knew. And his being blind bothered me." His comment reveals his condescending attitude toward Robert and his visit, while dismissing the emotional needs of his wife and her desire to have him visit.

About his wife's poetry, the narrator comments, "I can remember I didn't think much of the poem. Of course, I didn't tell her that. Maybe I just don't understand poetry. I admit it's not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read." Again, the narrator shows little to no concern for his wife's interests and hobbies other than sparing her his criticism.

Finally, during Robert's visit, the narrator comments, "My wife finally took her eyes off the blind man and looked at me. I had the feelings she didn't like what she saw. I shrugged." Clearly, the narrator is jealous of his wife's level of focus and attention on Robert. And yet, when he witnesses her displeasure at his own behavior, he shrugs it off and dismisses her opinion.