Cathedral

And Girls At War
In the short stories "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver and
"Girls at War" by Chinua Achebe, the theme of blindness is prevalent.

In "The Cathedral" Robert, the man who comes to visit, is physically
blind, but in his mind, he sees things more clearly than most others do. His
"mental-vision" is seen when he travels to his ex-employee\'s house to
visit for a couple days. Robert knows the implications of the situation he is
putting himself in. The husband, who is the narrator, could be jealous and this
whole trip could turn out adversely for the blind man. The husband could be
nonchalant about Robert\'s knowledge of his wife and making the trip all the
worth while. Robert is not the only one in the story to have vision. When the
husband offers Robert some marijuana, he is taking a risk. He thinks the blind
man will be ok with the idea of it but he does not know for sure. He could end
up turning Robert off and that would be then end of their relationship and any
hope of ever having one. Robert turns out to be open to new experiences,
although he has never tried it; he gives it a try. Both of these people have a
vision that is lacking by the wife. The narrator\'s vision is not clouded by the
things he sees. Robert relies totally on his inner vision to guide him because
he is blind. Because both of these people have a vision that is not possessed by

Robert\'s wife, they get along very well and hit it off from the start. The
wife\'s lack of vision is seen when she first introduces Robert to her husband.

Her husband asks Robert what side of the train he sat on. After making this
remark his wife tells him off for asking a question that would not make any
sense to ask a blind man, since his view of the scenery is the same no matter
which side he sits on. His wife does not realize that her husband is trying to
start a conversation. Since he has probably never talked to a blind man, he does
not know what to say. Her vision clouds her inner vision\'s ability to realize
that he is trying to be being polite. Her lack of vision is seen again when she
comes downstairs and realizes that Robert and her husband are smoking a joint.

She is completely confused about Robert smoking marijuana. "My wife came
back downstairs wearing her pink robe and her pink slippers. \'What do I smell?\'
she said. \'We thought we\'d have us some cannabis,\' I said. My wife gave me a
savage look. Then she looked at the blind man and said, \'Robert, I didn\'t know
you smoked.\' He said, \' I do now my dear. There\'s a first time for everything.

But I don\'t feel anything yet." Here you can see the narrator\'s wife numb
to the idea of smoking marijuana with her guest. In her blindness, she does
realize that other people might smoke marijuana. That is why she gave her
husband "a savage look." She did not realize that anyone else she knew
smoked marijuana. In Chinua Achebe\'s short story, "Girls at War" there
is a blindness in the character of Reginald Nwankwo. He was blind to see his
future right in front of his face even when she stopped him and searched his
car. "All right sir, close it." Then she opened the rear door and bent
down to inspect under the seats. It was then he took the first real look at her,
khaki jeans and canvas shoes with the new-style hair-plait which gave a girl a
defiant look and which they called - for reasons of their own - "air force
base"; and she looked vaguely familiar. The narrator later continues to
tell about how they had met each other before. Here Reginald does not realize
what he is seeing. He is looking at a girl and can realize that she is pretty.

However his vision stops at the surface and he does not realize that she is
trying to get to know him. Later in the story, Reginald meets her again. This
time he sees her when he goes to get supplies for himself and his family. When
he meets her, she is walking home and he picks her up in his car like a
hitch-hiker. "\'No, no, no\' said Nwankwo firmly. \'It\'s the young woman I
stopped for. I have a