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The Blind Man By D.H. Lawrence

884 words - 4 pages

The Blind Man – And the Blind Shall "see"

The story "The Blind Man" by D.H. Lawrence can be read at many levels.  On the surface, the story is about the struggles of Maurice Pervin as he learns to cope with the loss of his sight. On a much deeper level, it can be seen that Maurice is closed in by his blindness and it is through another man's weakness that he begins to “see” again.

To understand the meaning of "The Blind Man", one must first try to understand Maurice Pervin. He has spent most of his life with sight and is totally blinded in Flanders. When he returns home, he and his wife Isabel adjust to his new disability. This doesn't affect their marriage, though. The Pervins have a happy marriage and at times feel it is strengthened by the loss of Maurice's sight. For Maurice, "life was still very full and strangely serene for the blind man, peaceful with the almost incomprehensible peace and immediate contact in darkness" (Lawrence 139). He is still able to work on the farm and does not regret the fact of being blind. There are times, however, that his disability does get the best of him. He goes into fits of depression. These times strain his marriage and challenge his security. To help Isabel cope with the "burden" of him, Maurice tells her to invite her cousin Bertie for a visit. This is a big step for Maurice because he and Bertie have a history of resentment. Maurice comes from a country family. He is passionate and sensitive but slow minded. Bertie is a lawyer with intellect and a quick mind. Isabel enjoys Bertie's company and this challenges Maurice's security in his marriage. Maurice "hate[s] Bertie Reid, and at the same time he [knows] the hatred [is] nonsense, he [knows] it [is] the outcome of his own weakness" (146). He knows her love when he and Isabel are alone. He does not mind being blind as long as he has contact with other people. When Bertie comes, he takes Isabel's attention; and their world together is tainted by another man who does not fit in.

The actual changes begin to occur as Bertie is about to arrive. Isabel goes out to the barn to find Maurice. He is in the dark working in one of the stables. It is hard for her to see him and it scares her. Maurice is very much at home in the stable, though. Isabel has now stepped into Maurice's world, a world of darkness. She is no longer comfortable and feels the need to get away from her husband. He comes in to...

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