David AlexanderCarson MedleyRaymond Carver is not a writer; he is a preacher. His story Cathedraldefends the old Harper Lee adage, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” The short story is about a blind man, Robert, who ventures out to a husband and wife’s home after his wife, Beulah, dies of cancer. The husband never met anyone blind and is wary of his visit because of his wife’s deep love of this man’s friendship. The message Carver delivers is pretentious and improbable. It is heart-warming to think that a man’s worldview can change because he experienced something different, but it is absurd to believe it has staying power. Carver is far too optimistic in his assumption that humans are open to change and new viewpoints. The story initially gives the reader the allusion that there will be a semblance of realism, but finishes implausibly, leaving the reader feeling duped.
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