In the story Cathedral and A Good Man is hard to find the characters achieve a certain type of grace in one level or another. Although these stories seem to have nothing to do with grace, especially A Good Man their basis is built on the grace that one achieves. One might think what is grace. Webster s dictionary defines grace as, A disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency or a virtue coming from God. In these stories each character reached grace in different ways the one in A Good Man being the most dramatic. I will compare and contras the different types of grace achieved by each character.
The man s wife reached grace in several ways through the story. After working for this blind man she was married to an officer who moved around a lot, she was not able to have steady friendships and felt that she must take her own life. Even though she took every pill in the cabinet and downed it with alcohol she still lived, this sort of grace is the sort of grace described by Webster s dictionary as a gift from God. Her life was spared so that she can live on to new challenges. This type of grace was unique to this character in this story, but she reached a certain kind of grace in her relationship with the blind man named Robert. The man s wife and the blind man would send tapes to each other and describe what it is they are going through, any time they had a hard time or a happy time they would describe it in their tapes. This special relationship they had was an act of grace, that they both had an outlet so things would not stay bottle up. This type of grace can be defined in different ways. One way to define it is the relationship was a great privilege and the other way you can define it is that this was the grace of God, if it was not for this outlet who knows what would happen to either character.
The blind man had the privilege or the grace of God placed upon him pretty much the same way as the man s wife. He to had an outlet to describe what he was going through. Even though the man was blind he still lived his life normally he was also very perceptive. When the man asked the blind man what he understood about cathedrals, the blind man went on to describe almost every thing that he herd on that show. His listening and understanding of words is his only outlet to the world and he is fine by that. The blind man also had the privilege of understanding what a cathedral was through the grace of the man drawing the picture. The man could not describe this picture with words so he gave the blind man the privilege of understanding.
The man achieved grace in a different way from the other two, he also gave out grace to the blind man by being nice and courteous to the man even though he did not want to and felt uncomfortable. When the blind man asked the man to help him draw the cathedral which is the same instance where the blind man received the grace of understanding the man received a different kind of grace which I believe to be the whole purpose of the story. Webster s dictionary describes it as a pleasingly graceful appearance or effect. It is very hard to determine how this grace affected him, but I believe it to be the grace of divine understanding, I believe he understood what it was to be blind.
In the story A Good Man there seems to be no way that grace can be received in this story the family had a terrible accident and was shortly butchered afterwards. The grandmother who was facing death achieved divine understanding or grace. The key to understanding the grace that she achieved is understanding what the misfit when he was talking about how Jesus threw every thing of balance when he raised the dead. He told the lady If he did what He said, then it s nothing for you to do but thow away everything and follow Him, and if He didn t, then its nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can. Shortly afterwards with her human instinct for survival she sort of agreed and said maybe he didn t raise the dead and then. Then she achieved this divine grace or understanding much like the man in Cathedral . She realized that she would rather drop every thing and follow Jesus and that she is not immortal and she is meant to die, rather than enjoy the few minutes she had. She basically told him that he was one of her children and touched him and was killed. The grandmother probably knew she would be killed but she had to make an attempt to save that man as a Christian and hopefully she sacrificed her life to place a seed in the man s heart that would grow and ultimately change him.
In these two stories there are many forms of grace present, that which appear to be the grace of God, the grace that one lends to some one else, the grace of privilege, or the grace of enlightenment. In these stories each person received their grace in somewhat of the same way, and still managed to receive other forms of grace in different ways.