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

2. Which of the following is not something that the sergeant compares to the blind internees?

3. Why do the other people waiting in the Doctor's surgery grow irate?

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

5. What does the doctor step on on his way to the lavatory?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the Thugs take control of the food rations?

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

3. Describe the old woman with insomnia in Chapter 9.

4. What is the Doctor's principle argument for now trying to stop his wife from going to the Thugs' ward?

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

6. What happens to the Old Woman with insomnia in Chapter 11?

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

8. Describe the inside of the church that the Doctor and his Wife enter.

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

10. How does the first ward get its information of the outside world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Create a character arc for the Doctor. As a figure of esteem in the realm of vision before the epidemic, how does he become a figure of scorn after. Citing examples form his time in quarantine, map out his descent from control to helplessness. In what ways does he occasionally reassert his control over life?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the function of water in the novel. Write three body paragraphs about three instances in the novel when water plays an active role in the story. Be sure to write about its function both as a narrative device and as a symbol. Sum up Saramago's use of water as a symbol.

Essay Topic 3

In the latter passages of the novel, dogs are a constant presence in the filthy, dying streets of the blind city. Largely, they are seen as scavengers, but one - the dog of tears - is a healing gentle soul. What does he symbolize for the Doctor's Wife? To what extent does his arrival herald a turning point in the story? Is the dog otherworldly? Does it act against its nature? Write, in essay form, about the function of the dogs of tears, focusing a paragraph each of the following:

1. Its entrance into the story

2. Its attitude towards death

3. Its interactions with other dogs

(see the answer keys)

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