Blindness Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the First Man use to dress his wounded hand?

2. Which of these is not a condition the Doctor asks if the First Man has?

3. Whose spouse arrives with the new inmates?

4. Which group is forced to barricade itseld as the quarantine is flooded with new inmates?

5. What rumor about the government is going around?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who in the first ward dies in the hail of fire?

2. What is the Sergeant's attitude toward the internees?

3. How are conditions in quarantine affected as more inmates arrive throughout Chapter 5?

4. Describe the First Man's Wife's reaction to her husband when she comes home.

5. What bit of knowledge does the Thief reveal to the Doctor's Wife on the night of his death? What will he do with this knowledge?

6. Does the Doctor have an explanation for the First Man's sudden blindness?

7. Describe the Girl with Dark Glasses' attitude toward her work.

8. Describe what happens when the Doctor's Wife wakes up in the morning.

9. Does the Doctor give up on the case of blindness in the First Man?

10. What news does the Minister of Health have for the Doctor when he calls back?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The character of the Thief dominates much of the beginning of the novel, but he is the first internee to die. Choose one of the following questions about the Thief to answer in essay form:

1.) The Thief - in his last moments - privately contends that he is not dying because of any sin he has committed, but because he helped the First Man after he went blind. Do you agree with this? Defend your position, citing evidence in the novel.

2.) The Thief is an anarchist force when he enters quarantine. He quarrels regularly, fights movement to organize, and declares that at last he is equal to those around him. To what extent does he represent the antithesis of the Thugs that will arrive after his death?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following topics to discuss in essay form:

1.) What qualities - besides her ability to see - make the Doctor's Wife a good leader to the group after they leave quarantine? How does she develop these leadership qualities and what are their limits?

2.) What aspects of the government's plan prove to be erroneous? Do you think government officials lacked suitable leadership in dealing with the white sickness, or were events simply too powerful for any leader?

3.) Had a different person from the Leader of the Thugs had a gun and taken control of the food supplies, could the result have been positive? Could order, cleanliness and fair distribution come about, or does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the devolution of post-industrial society in the novel by choosing one of the following questions to answer in essay form:

1.) The Doctor's Wife is a witness to degradation and dehumanization in the quarantine. What are some examples of the subhuman conditions in the asylum, and what is Saramago saying about the trajectory human nature takes when standards of living are reduced to subsistence levels?

2.) Discuss the relationship of the Thugs to the rest of the quarantine after the Thugs take control of the food supply. How does this feudal relationship involve inmates relying wholeheartedly on those who subjugate them?

3.) The Man with the Eye-Patch that the state of the city after the blindness has swept the country is similar to the origins of man. How does this city resemble pre-agrarian times, citing examples of modern social standards that have vanished?

(see the answer keys)

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