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 when the Thief accuses him of causing everyone's blindness?

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

3. What is the problem with the food at lunch?

4. What action does the First Man take, forgetting that he has gone blind?

5. What is the doctor's diagnosis to explain the First Man's blindness?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Man with the Eye-Patch.

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

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

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

5. Why do the guards fire on the inmates?

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

7. What bit of knowledge does the Thief reveal to the Doctor's Wife on the night of his death? What will he do with this knowledge?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following topics to discuss in essay form:

1.) Why does the Doctor's Wife not reveal her ability to see while in quarantine? Do you consider this choice prudent or selfish? Does this choice to remain a covert observer give her more or less control over her environment?

2.) Why do you think it takes so long for the blind inmates in quarantine so long to organize themselves? Are they content being at the mercy of systems handed to them by the government and the Thugs? What Saramago saying about the weak nature of human groups?

3.) Why do you think it is so easy for the Thugs to take control of the food supply and one of the wards? Is it exclusively their superior arms? What tactics do they employ to divide and disorient their subjects in the other wards?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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