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 doctor step on on his way to the lavatory?

2. How long does it take the government to round up the known blind for quarantine?

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

4. Who comes to the First Man's aid after he goes blind?

5. What valuable piece of information does the Doctor's Wife take from the radio?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does the First Man compose himself in the Doctor's office?

3. What is the Thief's state of mind at the beginning of Chapter 2?

4. What is the Doctor's Wife's reaction to her husbands hypothesis about his blindness?

5. Does the First Man trust the man who comes to his aid after he goes blind?

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

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

8. What happens when the hundreds of new internees are delivered to quarantine?

9. Describe the state of the dormitory at the end of Chapter 6.

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

The beginning of the novel is marked by a sense of helplessness and shame associated with the inability to see. Explore the unifying embarrassment characters feel in these chapters through the following:

Part 1) How would you describe the character of the First Man? Though we do not know anything of him prior to going blind, does he seem like a man used to asking for help? How does he respond to being helped home by the Thief and stumbling around his apartment?

Part 2) In what state are both the Thief and the Girl with Dark Glasses when they go blind? What - in both of their lives - are they hiding from most of the world which is impossible to hide when they are in this helpless state?

(see the answer keys)

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