As the host, the narrator has to contribute in the conversation to keep the guest comfortable. Despite his fears and prejudices, he takes the obligations of a hospitable host. It is in this setting, mood, and atmosphere that the narrator experiences change. The setting allows events to run from dining together to sharing of drinks. Throughout these events, the narrator observes the blind man with keen interest trying to understand his world. At the beginning of the story, the narrator doubts the close relationship between his wife and the blind man. His insecurities and closed-mindedness limit his happiness in marriage. As they share a meal in the dining room, the narrator realizes that despite his lack of vision, Robert can comfortably observe the dining etiquette. The narrator’s view towards the blind changes, as the plot of the story unfolds in his house.
After dinner, a few drinks and cigarettes, the narrator’s wife falls asleep in the living room, leaving the two men to talk. The narrator intends to use the television as an escape from engaging in a conversation with Robert. Robert lacks vision and this creates a barrier between the two men. The open-minded blind man is not willing to go to bed but prefers to get to know his host better. Despite his attitude towards Robert, the narrator gives in to the guest’s request and the two indulge in a conversation on cathedrals. This conversation crops up because of a channel on the television that seeks to expose the viewer to cathedrals from different cultures. The setting poses a challenge to the narrator to take the initiative of enlightening Robert on the appearance of cathedrals. Due to lack of vision, Robert cannot imagine the appearance of a cathedral. The situation at hand forces the narrator to try to paint a picture of a cathedral using words but fails. This is the point at which the two men realize the need of a better connection.
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