4. “Blindness,” José Saramago

José Saragamo’s Blindness begins at an amber light. In a traffic-congested road in an unnamed city in an unnamed country, an unnamed man sits in his car, staring at a traffic light that goes from amber to red– and then suddenly to white. The man, who never so much as wore glasses in his life, has gone suddenly and inexplicably blind. It’s not a normal blindness, that of darkness or lack of light, but a ghostly white blindness unlike any anyone has seen before. It spreads, slowly at first: from the first blind man to the man who offers to help him home only to steal his car, to the first blind man’s wife, to a police officer who finds the thief screaming, to a taxi driver who transports the first blind man and his wife to the ophthalmologist’s office, to the patients of the ophthalmologist, to the ophthalmologist– but not to his wife. As one by one, everyone connected to this white blindness becomes blind themselves, the governance of the city decides that they must quarantine the blind and infected in an old mental hospital guarded by the army until the cause of their malady can be determined. Quickly, the situation begins to spiral out of control as the internees rapidly lose not only their sight but their humanity.

I just wrote a paper about how this book sucks, so I kind of don’t feel like doing it again, but here’s my thesis paragraph:

I shall examine how this novel constructs blindness metaphorically, exploring the links Saramago draws between physical and moral blindness, sight and humanity. I shall then explore the problems with employing disabilities as metaphors, and how this common trend speaks to the ways in which disability haunts our culture. In doing so, I hope to tease out the ableism upon which stories such as these are predicated, in the belief that doing so is the necessary first step to expelling these traits.

Add to that some Foucault/Heterotopia and you have a surprisingly-decent paper.

Page count: 352
Page total: 1,341

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: