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Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis

Robert, the narrator

Robert is the most obvious character for this role. As the confidante of the narrator's wife, someone whose opinion she respects, he can be seen as her guide. He obviously guides the narrator toward a new way of experiencing reality, and toward friendship and human contact. But, who exactly is guiding whom? The narrator takes the role as Robert's guide first. We could say that he takes his role as host quite seriously. He wants to show Robert what a cathedral looks like, not because cathedrals are that important to either of them, but because a documentary of cathedrals is what happens to be on television when they are together. This opens the door for Robert to guide him. During the drawing scenes, Robert and the narrator guide each other. Robert literally tells the narrator what to do, and provides a stream of encouraging comments to help him along. But, it's the narrator who knows what a cathedral looks like, and he's the one who's holding the pencil. Robert's hand is on top of the narrator's but the narrator is guiding Robert's hand as he draws.