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

2. Which newly blind character arrives in the first ward at the end of the chapter?

3. What does the Doctor's Wife find in a cupboard in the quarantine?

4. What is delivered for lunch?

5. What does the Doctor do when he discovers he is blind?

Short Essay Questions

1. What news does the Minister of Health have for the Doctor when he calls back?

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

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

4. Who in the first ward dies in the hail of fire?

5. What is the Sergeant's attitude toward the internees?

6. Describe the painting the Man with the Eye-Patch mentions at the end of Chapter 8.

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

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

9. What is the Doctor's conclusion about the origin of his blindness?

10. Describe the Man with the Eye-Patch.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the devolution of post-industrial society in the novel by choosing one of the following questions to answer in essay form:

1.) The Doctor's Wife is a witness to degradation and dehumanization in the quarantine. What are some examples of the subhuman conditions in the asylum, and what is Saramago saying about the trajectory human nature takes when standards of living are reduced to subsistence levels?

2.) Discuss the relationship of the Thugs to the rest of the quarantine after the Thugs take control of the food supply. How does this feudal relationship involve inmates relying wholeheartedly on those who subjugate them?

3.) The Man with the Eye-Patch that the state of the city after the blindness has swept the country is similar to the origins of man. How does this city resemble pre-agrarian times, citing examples of modern social standards that have vanished?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

If the novel Blindness is a parable, what is the lesson? Each of the surviving characters grows in a certain way from their experience in quarantine. What does the breakdown of their lives teach them? Cite examples for three of the surviving characters, noting how they behave at the beginning of the novel and at the end.

(see the answer keys)

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