by: Raymond Carver

Character List

The Narrator - An unnamed man who describes his experience with Robert. The narrator is jealous of the men from his wife’s past and doesn’t want Robert to visit, but he eventually connects with him when they draw a cathedral together. While his eyes are closed, the narrator has an epiphany after finishing the drawing in which he feels like he isn’t anywhere.

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Robert - The blind man. Robert visits the narrator and his wife after his own wife, Beulah, dies. He is a caring, easygoing man who sets even the narrator at ease. He encourages the narrator to draw a cathedral when the narrator is unable to describe one in words.

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The Narrator’s Wife - A nameless woman who invites Robert to their home. The wife has kept in touch with Robert since they met ten years ago, exchanging audiotapes with him and telling him everything about her life. Before she married the narrator, she’d been married to a military officer and was so unhappy that she tried to kill herself.