Drawing Comparisons

This essay draws connections from Blindness to a number of contemporary thinkers, trends and of course, works of literature. Including a small section that looks at both the Plague and Lord of the Flies comparisons that we made also in class.

“The novel can also be interpreted and taught from a philosophical and existential standpoint. Some may want to compare this novel to Camus’, The Plague (1947/ 1991), particularly regarding the insistence upon absurd logic in the face of an epidemic. From this perspective, Blindness is an allegory about the human condition. In the absence of social or cultural norms, we understand more clearly the core of humanity. Saramago’s harsh depiction of violence, rape, and loss of dignity reinforces pessimistic accounts about the cruelty of humankind.

The novel also alludes to Social Darwinist notions of the survival of the fittest. In this instance, one could compare Blindness to Lord of the Flies (1954) to discuss the implications of such an evolutionary (and eugenic) vision of society. In the novel, when all are equally blinded, power is exerted by means of force. Men with weapons rape women. Stronger men control the food supply. Yet, others with scarce resources share them with others. Thus, the novel can be construed as a reactionary moral tale of good and evil, but also reflects the humanity and kindness people can embody.”

The analysis is very shallow however and I think the remainder of the essay is more fruitful for discussion.

Also, the title in Portugese is “Ensaio sobre a cegueira” which means ‘an Essay on Blindness’.


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