Molding Of Society In Saramago's Blindness

752 words - 3 pages

To an extent, fear can be used as a way to mold society. The fear of terrorism set out by the event of 9/11 made it a more fear-driven world with growing minds of over analytical, blind, ignorant and assumable citizens, finger-pointing at others. But Jose Saramago's Blindness shows the possibility of fear molding our society. An epidemic of a bright, white blindness affecting all people, such brightness that no one would see anything but the white brightness itself, the novel uses this metaphorically as that we choose to ignore so much of the misery that goes on around us, the awful things that are happening in front of us, the despicable aspects of life. Instead, we chose to see what we want to see.
     "Look here, blind man, let me tell you something, either the two of you get back to where you came from, or you'll be shot, Let's go, said the wife, there's nothing to be done, they're not to blame, they're terrified and are only obeying orders..." (Saramago 63) This scene involves the blind in the institution, specifically the doctor and his wife that came to ask a guard for any antibiotics for a wounded man. This and other scenes throughout the novel shows the panic and fear from society and the government of this epidemic of blindness rapidly spreading with no reason. And particularly found in this quote is the power and the ability to implant such threat and fear in the blind internees, who are not only afraid of their own life that's hanging by a string because of this unexplainable sickness, but also the government's decisions and commands to instantly shoot and kill. It is a misfortune to acknowledge a government's lack of involvement in the lives of the blind. And applying it to our lives, it is more of a misfortune. The government doesn't seem to know the importance of awareness of others to see the pain and suffering through the eyes of the less fortunate and needy. This robs their vulnerability. And back to the quote, it is the quality of understanding needed, instead of power, that is most needed in such situations as this. Without understanding, everybody is blind to others' feelings and situations.
     In the reference of the...

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