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 character urinates in his pants?

2. Why isn't the First Man's wife home?

3. What is provided to the inmates for breakfast?

4. Why do the inmates collecting the food start shouting out the entrance?

5. Why does the Thief leave the First Man's car?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the guards fire on the inmates?

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

3. What services will the government offer the quarantined inmates, according to the announcement?

4. Describe the Man with the Eye-Patch.

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

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

7. How does the Thief suffer an injury?

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

9. What does the Doctor do when his Wife tells him that a Man with an Eye-Patch has arrived in the ward?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Saramago makes several references to the old cliche: "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In the central section of the novel, he pits two characters with sensory advantages against each other: the Doctor's Wife, who can see, and the Chronicler, who was born blind and can read and type braille. Compare and contrast these two "one-eyed men" and how they use or do not use their advantages. Is either truly a leader or "king" in the quarantine? What does each hope to achieve for their constituency?

Essay Topic 2

Consider the idea of compassion and love in the novel. Often, the world of Blindness seems devoid of these qualities except in a few strange instances:

Part 1) Explain the Doctor's Wife's strange reaction to seeing her husband in bed with the Girl with Dark Glasses? What is she hoping to accomplish by telling them to stay in bed together?

Part 2) Discuss the reasoning of the women's decision to thoroughly wash the body of the Old Woman with insomnia before trying to bury her? What reason is there for taking such lengths to clean a dead body in such a filthy place?

Part 3) Summarize the understanding that the Man with the Eye-Patch and the Girl with Dark Glasses have at the end of the novel? What is the nature of their love, and how did they come about it?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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