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. Which of the following characters are not in the Doctor's waiting room?

2. Why does the Doctor think his Wife has gone blind when he wakes up?

3. How does the Doctor describe the whiteness of First Man's blindness?

4. What are the inmates instructed to do after eating meals?

5. Where is the First Man when he goes blind?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the Man with the Eye-Patch describe the state of the outside world?

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

3. What insights does the Doctor's Wife have about the society of blind people in quarantine in the beginning of Chapter 5?

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

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

6. What is the Thief's reaction to the suggestion that the Doctor be leader of the quarantined inmates?

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

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

9. By this point, is the dispersal of food effectively organized by Chapter 7?

10. Why do the guards fire on the inmates?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jose Saramago writes his parable without any proper names. How does affect he telling of the story and the readers attitude toward the characters. Cite three characters and describe an initial impression of the person based solely on his/her "name." Go on to describe the journey of that character through the story and how he/she does or does not confound expectations.

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

Food - and the search for it - becomes a destructive force in the land of the blind, leading to distrust, dehumanization, and sometimes death:

Part 1) Discuss the distribution of food in the first days of quarantine? Before the Thugs arrive, is the process of food distribution fair and straight forward? In what ways are the baser qualities of humankind on display even in these passages?

Part 2) As the Thugs arrive at quarantine, how does the balance of power shift regarding food? Discuss the quarantine is transformed into a Hobbesian nightmare with food as the sole objective?

Part 3) After quarantine, what instances of death occur as a result of the search for food in the city? In the era of white sickness, can humanity be safe as it seeks to subsist.

(see the answer keys)

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