Summary ç Ensaio sobre a cegueira 102

José Saramago ß 2 Read

Summary ç Ensaio sobre a cegueira 102 é A driver waiting at the traffic lights goes blind An opthamologist tries to diagnose his distinctive white blindness but is affected before he can read the textbooks It becomes a contagion spreading throughout the city Trying to stem the epidemic the authorities herd the afflicted into a mental asylum whSpreading throughout the city Trying to stem the epidemic the authorities herd the afflicted into a mental asylum where the wards are terrorised by blind thugs And when fire destroys the. Not at all disturbing not at all compelling and not at all interesting Jose Saramago's Blindness only succeeds in frustrating readers who take a moment to let their imagination beyond the page Yes Saramago's story is a clever idea and yes he creates an intentional allegory to force us to think about the nature of humanity but his ideas are clearly those of a privileged white male in a privileged European nation Not only do his portrayals of women and their men fall short of the mark but Saramago has clearly never had to fend for himself in the world If he did he'd realize that there were a thousand easy answers to the dilemmas he created for his characters and he could have then focused on the internal filth of their souls than the external excrement of their bodies Blindness is not worthy of a Nobel Winner

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Asylum the inmates burst forth and the last links with a supposedly civilised society are snappedNo food no water no government no obligation no order This is not anarchy this is blindness. Imagine the most ordinary situation in the world People waiting at a traffic light All of us can see that before our inner eyes relive thousands of similar situations we have experienced ourselves without ever giving them a moment of consideration Thus starts Saramago's Blindness But there is a disruption One car is not following the rules all take for granted The car doesn't move when the light switches to green People are annoyed frustrated disturbed in their routines but not worriedSome drivers have already got out of their cars prepared to push the stranded vehicle to a spot where it will not hold up the traffic they beat furiously on the closed windows the man inside turns his head in their direction he is clearly shouting something to judge by the movements of his mouth he appears to be repeating some words not one word but three as turns out to be the case when someone finally manages to open the door I am blindI AM BLIND This is the beginning of what my son labelled the scariest book he ever read and yet such a perfectly brilliant masterpiece Similar to Camus' La peste and Ionesco's Rhinocéros in than one respect it takes the reader to the darkest abyss of despair and filth and pain Deprived of the sense of seeing the characters have to cope with brutal bestiality and suffering to survive in a world limited by the loss of vision an accurate symbol for overview control and objective judgement of reality If Camus' characters are invaded by plague stricken rats and dying of the disease Saramago's society breaks down even completely when the epidemic blindness strikes Humans turn into beasts comparable to the rhinofication in Ionesco's allegory on community collapseOne character a Cassandra of sorts is excluded from the plague and she guides the plot with her seeing eyes What she sees is unbearable even to the reader Rarely have I felt shaken than while reading the scene with the blind thugs raping hungry women The seeing woman steps in and uses her power to break off the horror show but it will leave a scar on my reading inner eye forever Bizarrely that means a scene I never actually saw is engraved on my visual memoryWhen reflecting on why the women didn't fight back from the beginning when the opportunist gangsters started to take control of the blind community they give the same reasons as so many women facing sexual abuseWe failed to put up resistance as we should have done when they first came making demands Of course we were afraid and fear isn't always a wise counsellorDesperate needs ineuality of power shameless gang mentality helplessness in an exposed situation loss of control all these things play a role And the humiliation of being exploited as an object without individual value is not diminished in blindness Inside we remain seeingAn allegory of the breakdown of civilisation Blindness is also the story of those who finally start resisting raw violence and brutal force and of those who see through the darkness However even as the blind spell breaks and people are regaining their vision the world is changed forever Blindness has become a real threat a terrifying possibility lurking underneath everyday worries If it can happen once it can happen again And who knows when You may be waiting at a traffic light and all of a sudden life goes whiteThe one person who remains seeing through the whole catastrophe realises in the end that people might not actually have been literally blind at allBlind people who can see but do not seeThat is a tragic reflection on humankind We turn to mass blindness in periods not because we are physically unable to see but because we DO not see We can see we have the tools for seeing but we do not use them not as long as the cars keep moving when the traffic lights turn green We only start to see that we do not see when we turn blind and there is a disruption in our unseeing complacency We sometimes need an epidemic blindness to wake up and see what happens underneath the polished surface of our civilisationLet's use our eyes literally and figuratively to see what we need to see Let's not turn a blind eye to the world's troubles We know we can easily fall into the barbaric state of blindness It has happened before Let's not forget blindness in order to keep our vision clear

Characters Ensaio sobre a cegueira

Ensaio sobre a cegueiraA driver waiting at the traffic lights goes blind An opthamologist tries to diagnose his distinctive white blindness but is affected before he can read the textbooks It becomes a contagion. This book left me speechless which is a rare occurrence Please enjoy the pictures to illustrate the plot while I recover my gift of rambling An unexplained plague of white blindness sweeps the unnamed country Initial attempts to hastily uarantine the blind in an abandoned mental hospital fail to contain the spread What they succeed at is immediately creating the easy us versus them divide between the helpless newly blind and the terrified seeing Before we know we are immersed in the horrifying surreal world of hopelessness filth violence and hate where the true enemy is not their affliction but people themselves which we can see through the eyes of the only person who appears immune to blindness “Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are” As the blindness epidemic spreads we see the disintegration of society just like we witnessed the destruction of humanity in the uarantine area Excrement covers sidewalks dogs munch on human corpses the blind rot in the stores after futile attempts to find food Even the saints in the churches are blinded The world is a bleak picture of desolation and destruction We don't know why it happened whether it's a test a warning or a punishment Instead we get a nagging haunting feeling that the real blindness was there all along the blindness towards the others the blindness towards our real selves and the physical blindness served as a way to unveil it What was always there but went unseen before because it used to be easy to shrug off Fear Us against them attitude Greed Contempt Hatred Selfishness Love of power Cowardice Apathy Isolation Filth Rape Murder Theft Ignorance Indifference Blaming the victim It was all already there and blindness amplified it And as society decays and falls apart the uestion of what is means to be human comes up “I don't think we did go blind I think we are blind Blind but seeing Blind people who can see but do not see” Things that made us human are gone Faces don't matter Names don't matter Homes don't matter Possessions don't matter Shame and modesty are gone Medicine is useless Government is useless Morals seem obsolete Empathy is gone Is anything left Anything inside us “The difficult thing isn't living with other people it's understanding them” The vestiges of humanity are the only rays of hope in this bleak world The girl with the dark glasses taking care of the boy with the suint The man with the eye patch and his love And the doctor's wife the only one who retained her sight Why Was it because she was the most human Or maybe she remained human because she retained her sight Who knows She is uiet and caring leading the blind washing the raped women weeping over the dead but killing if she must She sticks by her morals even if she is forced to violate them She is the guiding light and the uiet hero in this world of darkness whiteness keeping her charges from degradation without expecting anything in return “If we cannot live entirely like human beings at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals” The style of this book may not be for everyone disclaimer I loved it The pages are filled margin to margin with solid wall of text There are no dialogue marks and the seemingly mundane bits of everyday speech are separated only by capital letters Sometimes you need to almost read the sentences out loud to get a feel for who is speaking it's very fitting that the book about the blind is better perceived in a non visual medium The sentences are long in a European fashion run on and beautifully punctuated It is not a book to skim it reuires concentration and definitely is not a light read If all of the above does not scare you you should give this one a tryI will finish this review with the plea in the epigraph for this thought provoking eye opening no pun intended book If you can see look If you can look observe Please do Let's try to look past our own blindness and actually SEE