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

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

3. What does the Girl with Dark Glasses want to listen to on the portable radio?

4. What do the soldiers pour on the blind Thief's blood?

5. In the discussion of organizing the first ward, which is not a suggested task to be assigned?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does the Girl with Dark Glasses respond to the Man with the Eye-Patch's declaration of love?

4. What does the Doctor's Wife do when she sees her husband in bed with the Girl with Dark Glasses?

5. Describe the scene in the Thug's Ward immediately after the Doctor's Wife kills their leader.

6. Describe the Thugs' ward.

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

8. In what state do the Doctor and his Wife find the Gaunt Old Woman when they approach her building?

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

10. How do the Thugs keep track of their earnings?

Essay 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

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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