Blind Man’s Ability to Envision and Create- March 09th, 2011

     In the short story of Cathedral by Raymond Carver, the relationship of a wife’s husband and a blind man named Robert says a lot about someone who overlooks another because of a disability or what seems to be a disadvantage. The husband did hear a lot about the blind man before because of his wife, but never have he met him or anyone who was blind before. His wife and the blind man had a lot of history with work and due to the blind man’s wife’s death; she wanted him to sleep over at their house for company. His first time interacting with a blind man has made Robert very observant. He was curious, wondering how he did things and if it is even possible for someone without vision to be able to do things the way he does it.

     The blind man was able to ‘wow’ Robert despite not having vision. The blind man’s disability of not being able to see tricked the husband because he assumed that he was not able to do much or lacked skills to do anything. One example that proved Robert skeptical and made him change his thoughts about the blind man was the TV. Based on experience, the blind man was acknowledged with the difference of a color set television and a ‘black and-white thing’ (98). The blind man was not hesitant and quickly responded that he knew the TV the husband had was a color set. The experience of a blind man proved to be much more interesting and intriguing to learn from. In chapter six of “Spatial Ability, Knowledge and Place” of Space and Place, Tuan mentions “the mind learns to grapple with spatial relations long after the body has mastered them in experience” (Tuan 67). This quote very much relates to the blind man. The blind man use to have two different TVs at home, and knows the difference based on experience.

     In another occasion, the blind man proved the husband wrong again about how far his abilities can take him. His ability to not see only made the blind man’s other senses much stronger. The husband was asked to draw a cathedral with him and it was an inspiring experience. The blind man made him realize two things. One thing is when the husband closed his eye, he felt like “nothing else in” his “life up to now” (Carver 102). He was amazed, not because of his effort, but internally and mentally he felt that it was a whole different new experience for him. The second thing was that such as the husband, us as readers can much relate. It made the readers such as I think that that blind people are not blind. We are the ones who are blinded by our ignorance. We assume that we are much ‘skilled’ than those who cannot see. It only makes them stronger as individuals. Referring to another example is when he had dinner. His experience of being able to master his plate of food, having spatial ability and using his space shows a lot in a person who is blind. It shows determination and wisdom. His ability to eat, knowing where the pieces of meats are and being able to use his space showed a blind man who is not blind. He is just different.

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