Prejudice And Prejudice of The Diversity of People's Daily Life

In today’s society prejudice and preconception seem to be a major issue due to the diversity in people’s everyday life, such as their religious views, race, sexuality, and disabilities. However, in some cases, a life-changing event occurs that makes one recognize the errors of judging someone based solely on appearance and/or beliefs. In the story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, the narrator undergoes a major transformation which changes his perspective of life. Through the interactions with his wife’s friend Robert, who is blind, the narrator begins to change how he views the blind.

Judgment can cloud people’s minds and lead them to think negatively about certain topics. However, a simple life-changing moment can alter how someone perceives life and other people.

At the beginning of the story, the narrator’s ignorance was extremely intense. He was not enthusiastic about the blind man’s visit, saying how “his being blind bothered [him]” and that “a blind man in [his] house was not something [he] looked forward to”.

The narrator did admit that he had never really known or had any personal contact with anyone who was blind, so he had no idea what to expect. He admitted that he had based his opinion of blind people from the movies, assuming that they all “moved slowly and never laughed”. The insensitivity of the narrator is also shown early on in the story. When he hears about the death of Robert’s wife, his first thought is “…what a pitiful life this woman must have led.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Diversity

4.9 (247)

“ Rhizman is absolutely amazing at what he does . I highly recommend him if you need an assignment done ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The narrator is portrayed as shallow as he is only concerned about the external part of others and not recognizing the value a person holds within them.

The narrator, even though he is ignorant and insensitive, he is polite. Upon Robert’s arrival, he tries to engage in conversation with him, but it is clear that he does not know how to communicate with Robert and quickly loses interest in learning how. The narrator’s lack of interest in communication is simply because he is uncomfortable around Robert, and he does not know how he is supposed to act around a blind person. The narrator offers Robert a drink to try and alleviate some of the discomfort of the situation, in which Robert obliges, and many more drinks come afterward. When Robert lights a cigarette, the narrator recalls having read that blind people did not smoke because they could not see the smoke they exhaled and goes on to say that “I thought I knew that much and that much only about blind people. But this blind man smoked his cigarette down to the nubbin…”. The narrator is surprised that Robert is smoking a cigarette, and begins to realize that the movies and stories may not accurately portray the blind.

Once this realization hits him, the narrator begins to pay more attention to what Robert is doing and how he does it. At the dinner table, the narrator “watched with admiration as [Robert] used his knife and fork…” . As the story goes on, the narrator’s prejudice starts to fade, and he becomes more impressed with Robert’s capabilities, even calling him a “regular blind jack-of-all-trades”. The major change in the husband’s attitude and perception towards the blind man occurs furtherly during the shared connection they have as they draw the cathedral together with Robert’s hand closed over the narrator’s hand. As the narrator draws the cathedral, it is very clear that he comes to some sort of enlightenment, although there is no evidence that the narrator’s overall ignorance is completely gone. After the narrator draws the outline of the cathedral, Robert tells him to “Close your eyes now” and the narrator closes his eyes just as Robert asks. As he finishes the drawing, the blind man tells him to open his eyes and look, but at this moment the narrator comes to a revelation of sorts, “ My eyes were still closed.

I was at my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything. ‘It’s really something’ I said”. The enlightenment that the narrator experiences have to do with the realization of how all people should be treated equally and with love. Since the drawing was of a cathedral, it can be assumed that this enlightenment also has to do with religious values as well, although it is unknown how long this revelation will hold an effect. The narrator throughout the majority of the story is portrayed as ignorant and shallow. He shows a lack of understanding and bases his assumptions of people off of books and movies. However, as he interacts with the blind man and draws the cathedral, he forms a connection with someone he once thought “moved slowly and never laughed” , just like in the movies, and he is gifted with a realization that he has been blinded by his stereotyping tendencies and his own judgment.

Prejudice and preconception are still a major issue due to the diversity in different aspects of society. People judge others and make conceptions of others based solely on race, sexuality, religion, appearance, and disabilities. In Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral” The main character undergoes a life-changing event and comes to the realization that his judgment and his ignorance hindered him from being able to see the world. He made assumptions about the blind man before ever meeting him, and based these assumptions on movies that portray the basic stereotypes of people based on their race, sexuality, and disabilities. Robert helped the narrator to see that he was being blinded by his own judgment, and helped him to understand that by closing your eyes to the world around you, you can make your own judgment as to how you perceive things.

Cite this page

Prejudice And Prejudice of The Diversity of People's Daily Life. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7