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 is the Girl with Dark Glasses' profession?

2. What mixes with the blood after several inmates are shot by the soldiers?

3. Which of the following is not a location considered by the government for the quarantine location

4. Of the four corpses that the first ward buries, how many actually slept in the first ward?

5. What is provided to the inmates for breakfast?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe the asylum dormitory.

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

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

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

8. What appears to be the pattern for the spread of blindness in the novel?

9. Describe the Man with the Eye-Patch.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Burial is an important component of the narrative. As time goes on, the characters' attitude toward interring their dead changes. In an essay, state the change that occurs in this attitude and how this change mirrors the characters' change in self-image. Map this change through the burials of the following:

1. The Thief

2. The four first ward inmates shot by the guards

3. The Old Woman with insomnia

4. The Gaunt Old Woman

Essay Topic 2

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 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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