The main character named Olaf in The Big Black Good Man was a person who had travelled everywhere. To him, it meant that he had become open-minded in his way of thinking because of familiarizing himself with the many cultures he had come across (Wright, 1964, p. 207). He therefore did not see himself as prejudiced. The irony of his ideals were sharply noted when he was introduced to Jim, a rather burly man of African origin. His views quickly shifted into disdain for the man, for he saw him as less of a man due to his size and dark skin. Olaf viewed him as “Too big, too black, too direct…” (Wright, 1964, 209). The main character was however limited in the sense that aside from his physical appearance, he failed to come up with a good reason as to why he hated and despised Jim.
In Araby, the character’s point of view is biased because his friend’s sister infatuates him. He is generally unhappy about his life and circumstances. He sees the neighborhood in which he lives in as desolate (Joyce, 1935). He views the negative aspects of his life as “darkness.” When he finally meets the girl, he has a crush on, his point of view begins to shift, and he can no longer wait for Saturday to reach so that he can go to Araby and buy her a gift. When he finally reaches the place, he realizes that the expectations that he had placed on the experience were not met, thus became utterly disappointed. When the lights of the place are finally switched off, he realizes that the “darkness” which he had tried to escape finally caught up with him.
The character in Cathedral always perceived blind people to be lonely and depressed. His views were based on the blind characters he had seen on television. He was therefore reluctant when his wife decided to invite her blind boss for dinner at their house (Carver, 2009). After he agreed to be hospitable to the blind man, they had dinner and eventually sat on the couch. The character watched a documentary on cathedrals while the blind man listened. Since he could not get a clear picture of a cathedral in his mind, he asked the character to describe one, after which they decided to draw it together. The blind man asked the character to close his eyes as he was about to complete the drawing. The character was amazed that he was able to finish drawing the cathedral and did not want to open his eyes. He wished to continue gaining “a blind man’s” perspective.
Carver, Raymond. Collected Stories. New York: Library of America, 2009. Print.
Joyce, James. Araby. Trieste: Triestina Carlo Moscheni, 1935. Print.
Wright, Richard, Tomoshichi Konishi, and Richard Wright. Big Black Good Man. Osaka: Daigkusha, 1964. Print.
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