Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Blindness is a parable, a story told with the intention of imparting a universal message. In Chapter 1, Saramago introduces an important technique for creating that universality: an absence of proper names and locations. The objective for this chapter is to understand how this technique affects the way we envision the story.
1. For class discussion: consider different cities -- in several different countries, if possible -- and how the opening passage of the novel would play out in that city. How would a New Yorker react to a driver suddenly going blind at a stoplight, as opposed to, say, someone from Montreal or Selma?
2. For class discussion: choose five disparate cultures from across the world. What are unifying qualities about these cultures? Think of concrete examples: food combinations, infrastructure, religion, etc.
2. For homework: list out ten adjectives that come to mind when you consider the words...
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