Write an introductory paragraph using the thesis statement that Bub does change in "Cathedral," using the three supporting details that his stereotype for blind people changes, that he starts to show empathy, and that he sees the world in a different way.

Bub changes after his encounter with Robert. He no longer stereotypes blind people as "pathetic." He shows his empathy for Robert by wanting to keep his eyes shut after he has finished drawing the cathedral with him. Bub sees the world in a different way as he realizes he is as limited as Robert and can learn from this new friend.

Expert Answers

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

When writing your introductory paragraph for this story, you might consider the following points.

Bub, which is the name Robert, the blind man, uses for the narrator, at first dreads the visit of his wife's blind friend. He perceives blind people as less than he is, as strange people who...

See
This Answer Now

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

Get 48 Hours Free Access

When writing your introductory paragraph for this story, you might consider the following points.

Bub, which is the name Robert, the blind man, uses for the narrator, at first dreads the visit of his wife's blind friend. He perceives blind people as less than he is, as strange people who go around with dark glasses and a cane. He says he received his ideas about the blind from watching movies, meaning he has never met a blind person. Bub says that from the movies, he learned that

the blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing eye dogs.

Bub sums up the blind as "pathetic."

Robert quickly dispels all of Bub's ideas about the blind. He doesn't move slowly, have a seeing eye dog or dark glasses, or use a cane. He laughs and has a beard. He surprises Bub by smoking cigarettes and being willing to try marijuana, and he quickly masters using a joint. Through his encounter with Robert, Bub learns that the blind are people similar to him, not some strange category of "other."

Bub starts to show empathy as they watch a television show on cathedrals. Robert, of course, can't see it, and asks Bub to describe a cathedral for him. As Bub does so, he puts himself in Robert's shoes and begins to realize his own inadequacy. He can't convey what a cathedral is to someone who doesn't see. He says to Robert, "I'm just no good at it."

Bub also shows empathy after he and Robert draw the cathedral together, with Robert's hand over his. Bub tells him to close his eyes as he draws, and then to open them. Significantly, Bub doesn't open his eyes. He feels such identification with Robert that he doesn't want to open them:

I thought I'd keep them that way [shut] for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do.

Bub begins to see the world in a different way when he realizes that he can't describe a cathedral to Robert. He realizes that although he can physically see, he is limited and handicapped in other ways. As he draws with Robert, the transformation continues. He realizes that Robert is not pathetic and that he, Bub, might have something to learn from him. This transformation crystallizes at the end of the story, when Bub wants to continue to stay in Robert's world, with his eyes closed:

My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn't feel like I was inside anything.


"It's really something," I said.

When Bub states he didn't feel he was inside anything with his eyes closed, he signals that he understands that not seeing in the usual way is a form of liberation or transcendence. This is a new experience—a revelation—for him.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on