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 does the First Man see after he goes blind?

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

3. What is delivered for lunch?

4. Whose spouse arrives with the new inmates?

5. In what state is the Girl with Dark Glasses when she goes blind?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the final moments of the Thief's life.

4. Does the Doctor give up on the case of blindness in the First Man?

5. Why do the guards fire on the inmates?

6. How does the Thief suffer an injury?

7. What is the Thief's reaction to the suggestion that the Doctor be leader of the quarantined inmates?

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

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

10. Describe the Girl with Dark Glasses' attitude toward her work.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Jose Saramago's narrative voice is unique in its familiarity with the reader and its presentation of the story in a colloquial, conversational format, one that forgoes many of the standards of traditional novel writing:

Part 1) Discuss the effect of Saramago's frequent use of the first person plural - we - to engage the reader as a confidante of sorts. How does this alter the traditional relationship between the third-person omniscient narrator and the reader?

Part 2) Examine Saramago's frequent usage of hypothetical situations - such as that of the Chronicler walking out among the desperate hordes of the other wards - and allusion to proverbs. What purpose do these devices serve in the narrator's dissection of events?

Part 3) Why do you believe that Saramago uses no quotation marks and generally embeds his dialogue into large paragraphs rather than breaking it up?

Essay Topic 3

Several objects have major effects on the outcome of events in quarantine. Write a body paragraph about each of these objects: initial impressions upon its first appearance in the narrative, conjecture about its possible use by characters, and eventual function within the story:

Part 1) The gun

Part 2) The scissors

Part 3) The lighter

(see the answer keys)

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