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Blindness Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz 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

The character of the Thief dominates much of the beginning of the novel, but he is the first internee to die. Choose one of the following questions about the Thief to answer in essay form:

1.) The Thief - in his last moments - privately contends that he is not dying because of any sin he has committed, but because he helped the First Man after he went blind. Do you agree with this? Defend your position, citing evidence in the novel.

2.) The Thief is an anarchist force when he enters quarantine. He quarrels regularly, fights movement to organize, and declares that at last he is equal to those around him. To what extent does he represent the antithesis of the Thugs that will arrive after his death?

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?

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?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,073 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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