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Abstract

Disability Studies is an academic discipline which focuses on the meaning, nature and consequences of disability. The term is used to refer to individual functioning including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness and various types of chronic diseases. This paper focuses on blindness as not simply a deficit rather a gifted intellect and someone with great insight in Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”. In this short story, the character Robert’s blindness has given the narrator an access to beauty and meaning that he has never known before. The narrator has his own stereotypic image of the blind people only from the movies and he had no real life encounters which all through his life made him feel that they have their own stereotypes. He ultimately expands his own perception by inhabiting Robert’s perspective where he finds something more meaningful and deeper within his own self.  The verbal description of the narrator fails to portray the Cathedral to Robert whereas the view of the blind Robert opens the eyes of the narrator. It is the perceptual failings of the narrator that make him unable to understand other people’s feelings and fails to find meaning or joy in his life. It is through the blind man he attains Epiphany, which is not just about attaining insight but a divine realization. Literal blindness is far more less than the emotional blindness and thus this paper flashes that blindness is in the eyes and not in the mind.   

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